Poland to file a complaint to The Hague concerning Russian investigation of the Smolensk catastrophe

Poland plans to submit a complaint to the International Court of Justice in The Hague concerning the Russian investigation of the Smolensk catastrophe. This was announced on Wednesday by the Polish Foreign Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, as Radio Poland reported.

"At first we tried — for a year — to verify whether there is an opportunity to reach an agreement directly with the Russians. The Russians, as you know, reacted negatively, sometimes arrogantly ... We also tried to get support from some of our allies and institutions, to which we belong to," the Minister stressed.

According to Waszczykowski, “since this has been going on for seven years, our possibilities have been exhausted. Because of this now, in fact, the process of the registration of the complaint in the International Court of Justice is being conducted, and in the near future we will submit the complaint.”

Waszczykowski also stressed that the exact date the complaint will be filed depends on the lawyers. “It could be days or weeks," he said.

On April 10th, 2010, while trying to land in a heavy fog and in conditions of limited visibility on the Smolensk North Airport, a Tu-154 plane with 96 people on board crashed. Among the victims, were the President, Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and representatives of the High Command. They were flying to participate in the commemoration ceremony dedicated to the anniversary of the massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest.

In 2011, the Interstate Aviation Committee issued a final report on the crash. The report said that the plane crashed because of the crew’s decision not to fly to the alternate airport. 

At the beginning of February 2016, Poland renewed the investigation into the crash, and the Defense Minister, Antoni Macierewicz, called this catastrophe a terrorist attack.

On November 15th, this year, an exhumation of the bodies of Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria took place in Krakow. The Polish authorities also decided to exhume the remains of 83 of the plane crash’s victims near Smolensk.

  Poland, Russia, International Court of Justice, Smolensk air crash