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THE UNITED NATIONS, December 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will seek for the payment of a proper compensation to the families of the pilots from a helicopter, which was downed in South Sudan, Russian Permanent Representative in the UN Vitaly Churkin told Russian reporters here on Monday.
The helicopter Mi-8, which belonged to the air company Nizhnevartovskavia and was working under the contract with the UN Mission in South Sudan, was downed on December 21 near Likuangole, Jonglei State. The South Sudanese authorities acknowledged that the helicopter was downed mistakenly. “Meanwhile the local army command was informed by the UN peacekeepers about the scheduled flight, and the full security was guaranteed to the helicopter,” Vitaly Churkin said.
“We intend to follow closely the progress of the investigation in the military incident and seek for efficient measures to ensure flight security in the Republic of South Sudan, as well as the payment of a proper compensation to the members of the families of the Russian crew, because the pilots worked on the UN contract and were killed in the performance of the combat task of the UN Mission,” the Russian permanent representative said.
He recalled that on the day of the tragedy Russia insisted on the UN Security Council to take a statement, “which offers deep condolences to the actions of the army in South Sudan.” Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned this armed incident.
On Monday, Nizhnevartovskavia acting head Sergei Bakunin stated that the air company will receive one million dollars as a compensation for the loss of the helicopter. The helicopter was insured for this premium, he said.