White House rules out additional Smolensk investigation
PR dla Zagranicy
The White House has ruled out any additional investigation into the Smolensk air disaster, either under the auspices of the US government or NATO.
Confirmation that the US will not be drawn into investigating the April 2010 crash was made at a teleconference organised by the White House in the lead up to the NATO Summit in Chicago, which begins on 20 May.
“This is a matter that we are leaving to the Poles and the Polish government,” said Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, when queried by a journalist from Polish-American paper The Post Eagle.
“Neither the United States nor NATO has conducted or has plans to conduct a separate investigation,” he underlined.
When asked again about the crash by another Polish American journalist, Rhodes noted that shortly after the crash, the US had offered its assistance on any technical matters regarding the investigation.
Rhodes clarified that the offer is still valid, but that the Polish government has not requested any aid to date.
Some 96 Poles died when the plane carrying President Lech Kaczynski's delegation to Smolensk, Russia, crashed in thick fog on 10 April 2010.
The official Russian report, released in December 2010, placed the blame for the crash on the Polish side, while Warsaw's report, published in July 2011, acknowledged a catalogue of faults on the Polish side, coupled with errors made in the Smolensk control tower.
In recent months, Poland's conservative Law and Justice party, which is led by Lech Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw, has stepped up rhetoric suggesting that the crash was no accident but the fruit of a plot against his sibling. (nh)