MOSCOW:  Russia has always opposed politicizing the 2010 air crash near Smolensk and expects common sense to prevail in Poland in order to &...


MOSCOW:  Russia has always opposed politicizing the 2010 air crash near Smolensk and expects common sense to prevail in Poland in order to "turn this page," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on Warsaw’s refusal to sue Moscow in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over that accident.

"We have seen such reports. We will need to look at the official information, therefore I would refrain from giving any formal opinions for the time being," Peskov said. "Our position here is well known, and the reasons behind that deadly crash are well known, too. It’s no secret. We have always been against politicizing that terrible accident which claimed so many lives. We would like to turn this page, and, hopefully, it will happen with time and common sense will prevail," the Russian presidential spokesman concluded.

Earlier, the Polish Foreign Ministry said it would not be filing a lawsuit against Russia in the ECHR over the April 2010 crash of the Polish presidential Tu-154M airliner near Smolensk, which killed then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

Smolensk crash

The Polish air force Tu-154M presidential airliner crashed on the morning of April 10, 2010, near Smolensk in dense fog. The crash resulted in the deaths of all 96 people on board, including then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria. The high-ranking Polish delegation was on a flight to the western Russian city, intending to travel further by car to the nearby village of Katyn to hold memorial ceremonies at a Polish military cemetery.

Experts from the Interstate Aviation Committee concluded that the accident occurred due to the actions of the crew, who made an incorrect decision to land during poor weather conditions due to intense psychological pressure by the high-ranking passengers.

In addition to attempting to descend at an unacceptable altitude, the report of the Polish governmental commission listed cockpit failures and the fact that the pilot neglected the signals of the TAWS early warning system among the causes of the crash. According to the Polish experts, the accident was caused by a descent below the required altitude at an excessive speed in poor weather conditions, as well as by a delayed start of the missed approach procedure.

Macierewicz commission

In October 2015, the Law and Justice (PiS) party took power in Warsaw. The new PiS-led government claimed that the investigation into the details of the tragedy by the previous Polish leadership had been flawed. In early March 2016, the work of the government commission was resumed by decision of then-Polish Defense Minster Antoni Macierewicz, even though the commission had already closed the case and reported on its work in 2011.

In April 2019, Macierewicz, who headed the new commission, reported that a laboratory affiliated with the UK Ministry of Defense had allegedly discovered particles of explosives on the Tu-154 fragments. Russian Investigative Committee Spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko refuted the British experts' allegations.


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