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NATO allies urged to help Poland clarify Smolensk crash

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 16.02.2017 16:35
Poland's Defence Minister has urged NATO allies to share any information they possess about the 2010 presidential plane crash in Smolensk, western Russia.
Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide (left) and Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz during the NATO Defence Ministers' Council. Photo: EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

During a two-day meeting of Alliance defence ministers in Brussels, Poland's Antoni Macierewicz said that “it is high time” for NATO to get involved in helping Poland clarify the issue.

“It seems that it is high time for NATO to join forces in clarifying this matter,” Macierewicz said.

He added that he discussed the issue with NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, Curtis Scaparrotti, as well as the UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon.

Speaking to journalists following the meetings on Thursday, Macierewicz said that Poland expects “full cooperation, especially in passing on all information that both NATO and individual countries have in relation to this case.”

Macierewicz also appealed to member countries to provide technical assistance such as the use of laboratories and specialised institutions.

In April 2010, a Polish presidential plane crashed while trying to land in fog in Smolensk, western Russia, killing then-President Lech Kaczyński and the 95 others on board.

Despite requests, the wreckage of the plane has not been handed over to Poland.

Meanwhile, Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party has launched its own investigation into the disaster.

PiS has long challenged an official report into the crash issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.

A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.


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