Russia intends to make Ukraine pay compensation for shot-down passenger aircraft

The representatives of the Russian interdepartmental commission will meet in Novosibirsk on July 15th with the relatives of the killed passengers of the Tu-154 shot down by a Ukrainian missile on October 4th, 2001. Russia intends to make Ukraine pay a compensation for the shot-down passenger airplane, which Kiev stubbornly refuses to do. As spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Alexander Yakovenko told journalists, a commission for settling the situation obtaining as a result of the crash of the Russian passenger aircraft Tu-154M was set up by an ordinance of the government of Russia. Yakovenko specified that "the whole complex of questions requiring solution" would be discussed at the Novosibirsk meeting.

The prime purpose of the commission's work is "to protect the interests of the relatives of the victims who survived a heavy blow, and their natural right to a compensation for the moral sufferings and material damage caused by the death of their kith and kin must be ensured," the diplomat emphasized.

The commission has to make the final calculation of the compensation which must be paid to the Russian citizens, to the bodies of state authority of Russia and to legal entities in conformity with international law and with practice of settlement of incidents of this kind. As Yakovenko noted, "talks with Ukraine on deciding the question of payment of such a compensation will be held." Though Ukraine has admitted that its armed forces shot down a Russian passenger airplane over the Black Sea, it is not going to pay a compensation to the relatives of the perished people, among them Israeli citizens. This fact has complicated relations between Tel Aviv and Kiev.

The Russian Tu-154M which was flying to Novosibirsk was shot down by a missile during an exercise of the Ukrainian air-defence forces in October 2001. The airliner was carrying 66 passengers, mainly citizens of Israel, and 12 crewmen.

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