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Russia condemns Poland’s new allegations over Smolensk air crash as political hit job

July 13, 2018, 18:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian side is being actually accused of maliciously obstructing the process of finding the true causes of the air crash, the Foreign Ministry said

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MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Warsaw’s accusations that Moscow is allegedly obstructing the probe into the crash of the Polish Tu-154M plane near Smolensk amount to nothing more than a political hit job, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement circulated on Friday.

"We are bewildered by the new verbal attack from the Polish sub-commission on the so-called repeat investigation into the air crash of the Polish president’s plane on April 10, 2010 near Smolensk," the statement reads.

"The Russian side is being actually accused of maliciously obstructing the process of finding the true causes of the air crash. The issue of the crashed plane’s reconstruction from the fragments collected at the crash site has been chosen as the subject of speculative conjectures," the statement says.

"It is obvious that what we’re talking about here is a banal political hit job," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

"No matter how constructive Russia may act, it still is being targeted for high-profile accusations of incompetence and malicious intent and is being demonized in the eyes of the Polish and the international public opinion. It is time for officials in Warsaw to put an end to these unnecessary activities and take care of their business," the statement says.

Moscow is bewildered over the Polish side staging "a rude public demarche amid normal business interaction of the competent agencies of Russia and Poland on the Smolensk dossier," the statement says.

Moscow and Warsaw "are in close contact and are exchanging materials within the framework of the legal assistance mechanism and agreeing the timeframe for Polish experts to visit the crash site for the additional study of fragments of the presidential Tu-154M," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Kaszynski plane crash and its probe

A Tu-154M airliner carrying a top Polish delegation crashed near the city of Smolensk in west Russia on April 10, 2010, killing all 96 people on board, including Polish President Lech Kaszynski and many other senior military and political figures.

The plane’s pilots made a decision to land despite poor visibility and the absence of a visual contact with the ground. The plane crashed just several meters away from the runway.

A Polish government commission on investigating air accidents found that the accident was caused by the plane’s descending below the minimum altitude at an excessive speed in the weather conditions that allowed no visual contact with the ground, as well as the crew’s failure to timely execute a go-around maneuver.

A report prepared by the commission also named the crew’s error and its failure to respond to TAWS (Terrain Awareness and Warning System) signals as the causes for the air crash, apart from the plane’s dive to an impermissibly low altitude.

However, Poland’s Law and Justice Party led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the brother of the late president, did not agree with the commission’s conclusions. After winning the 2015 parliamentary elections, its members set up a new sub-commission on investigating air accidents to review the commission’s work.

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