Poland strongly disagrees with Russia, but shows no pressure on Moscow

43029.jpegThe Polish government last year agreed to the Russian suggestion that a formally independent body conduct the investigation into last year's plane crash that killed the Polish president. Warsaw now disagrees with the investigation's findings, but has no way to pressure Moscow to change them.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the report by the Interstate Aviation Committee-a body overseeing civil aviation in former Soviet states-is incomplete. It puts the blame for the decision to land in thick fog at a provincial Russian airport solely on Polish pilots. Based on poorly documented tests, it says Gen. Andrzej Blasik, commander of the air force, was under the influence of alcohol when he pressured the crew to land, Wall Street Journal says.

Russian Transportation Minister Igor Levitin said on Thursday that the recordings were officially handed over to Poland shortly after the tragedy.

Russian experts said on Wednesday that one of the causes of the crash was the crew's decision not to land at a reserve airport. Polish Interior Minister Jerzy Miller said on Thursday that Russian air traffic controllers should have banned the crew from landing at the Smolensk airport.

Levitin said that according to the rules of special international flights, it is up to the crew commander to decide where to take off and land. He promised to study the recordings of conversations between air traffic controllers more closely, RIA Novosti reports.


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