No changes in Russian-Polish relations after Kaczynski plane crash reports

Differences between Russian and Polish reports into the plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski, will not affect bilateral relations, Polish Senate speaker Bogdan Borusewicz said on Wednesday.

On Friday, Poland released its final report on Kaczynski’s plane crash, suggesting that both the Polish flight crew and Russian air traffic controllers were at fault.

Borusewicz said that “the differences between [Russia’s aviation investigators] MAK and Miller’s conclusions [Polish Interior Minister Jerzy Miller heads the commission into the cause of the crash] will not spoil Russian-Polish relations.”

However, Borusewicz did not rule out possible further arguments on the report.

In mid-January Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) released the Russian version of the high-profile tragedy, putting the blame for the crash on the Polish crew. Polish politicians denounced the report, saying it was one-sided or a cover-up.

A Tu-154 plane carrying Kaczynski, his wife and a host of top officials crashed in heavy fog as it attempted to land at an airfield near the western Russian city of Smolensk. The delegation was flying to Smolensk to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police. All 96 people on board the plane died.

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