Poland: Russia concealing key witnesses in Smolensk air disaster

Russia is concealing key witnesses, and is not giving Poland the wreckage of the Polish government’s Tu-154M, thereby preventing progress in establishing the truth about the circumstances of the Smolensk aviation catastrophe, and causing Warsaw to wonder about Russia’s real intentions.

A statement to this effect was made by Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki when commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that there was no explosion on board President Lech Kaczyński’s plane, and that this has been confirmed by Russian and Polish experts, PAP reports.

“Russia’s actions, namely, a lack of reaction to some of the requests to provide legal assistance, hiding important witnesses – participants in the events of April 10, 2010, and keeping our property, the destroyed Tu-154M, do not help establish the truth, and make us wonder about Russia’s intentions towards us, and the role of the Russian participants in these events,” Cichocki said.

He added that Poland will continue to strive for a complete explanation of the causes and circumstances of the catastrophe.

96 people on board the Polish state plane, including Polish President Lech Kaczyński, died in the aviation catastrophe on April 10, 2010, in Russian territory.

Earlier, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said that the new Polish account of the circumstances of the Smolensk catastrophe will be published in the spring of 2018. The minister emphasized that it will refute the key theses of the previous Polish commission of former Interior Minister Jerzy Miller, that the plane was approaching too low and decided to come for a second run, that there were external persons in the cabin, and most importantly, that there was no explosion on board.

As reported earlier on Thursday, Putin called Poland’s claims of Russian involvement in the crash “nonsense”, and said that if there was an explosion, the explosive device must have been placed while the plane was in Warsaw.

  Smolensk air crash, Russia, Poland