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NOVO-OGAREVO, November 2. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded to thoroughly investigate the Kogalymavia plane crash in Egypt.
"Without any doubt, everything should be done to recreate the objective picture of what happened, so that we know what happened and reacted accordingly," Putin said at a meeting with Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov wo heads the governmental commission on investigating the air crash in Egypt.
"This work should continue until we are fully confident that this stage has been completed," Putin said after hearing Sokolov’s report on the search operation at the crash site. "It should not be stopped ahead of time on formal preconditions," the president stressed.
Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, who heads the governmental commission on investigation Kogalymavia’s A321 plane crash in Egypt on October 31, has informed Vladimir Putin about the progress.
"We worked at the crash site," Sokolov said. "By monitoring we established that the Kogalymavia plane that left Sharm el-Sheikh on October 31 disintegrated in the air after 23 minutes of routine flight, and its debris fell on the territory of around 20 square kilometers," he added.
"Work on providing disaster relief and search for bodies has been coordinated with Egyptian authorities, Egypt’s armed forces," Sokolov continued. "I want to assess this cooperation as very high, exemplary. We received all necessary help in all spheres," he said.
The minister also noted that the work of all relevant agencies in Russia has also been coordinated at the necessary level. "Everyone is working 24/7," he concluded.
Sokolov noted that the commission is doing everything possible to establish the cause of the air crash as soon as possible. He noted that in accordance with international rules, the country where the accident happened is tasked with technical organization of the investigation. Among participants in the investigation are Egypt, where the air crash occurred; Russia, operator of the plane; Ireland, the country of registration; and France, the manufacturer.
Ukraine and Belarus can also take part in the investigation as the nationals of these countries were among the victims of the air crash. Aviation authorities of Israel, Turkey and Cyprus can also provide assistance as neighboring countries. "We will do everything possible to establish the cause of the catastrophe as soon as possible," he stressed.
The president has once again expressed his condolences to friends and relatives of victims killed in Russian passenger plane’s crash in Egypt.
"I would like to once again express my condolences to friends and relatives of the victims," Putin said at a meeting with Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov, who is heading the state commission on the investigation into the cause of plane’s crash.
"This is an enormous tragedy," the Russian president said. "We are together with you with our hearts and souls."
"In times of such tragedies and such hours, it is certainly very important to feel a shoulder of close ones and how the whole country empathizes over this horrible catastrophe," Putin added.
Putin also noted that the region where the plane crashed is the zone where clashes often occur between Egyptian government forces and terrorist groups. "When working at the crash site, I ask you to be careful," the president told Sokolov.
Russian Kogalymavia’s A321 plane en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 around 30 minutes after takeoff in North Sinai, 100 kilometers to the south of Al-Arish. Flight 9268 carried 217 passengers and seven crewmembers. Egyptian authorities said no one survived in the crash.
Most passengers were Russian nationals. Among the people onboard were also four Ukrainian citizens and one Belarusian national.
November 1 was declared a day of mourning in Russia. In Saint Petersburg mourning and memorial events to pay homage to those who died in the plane crash in Egypt will last till November 3.