Saturday

17th Apr 2021

Poland accuses Russia of delaying handover of Smolensk air crash data

  • The death of President Kaczynksi and 95 members of his delegation was mourned by thousands (Photo: Piotr Pawlowski)

Polish prime miniser Donald Tusk wants an explanation from Moscow as to why it has not yet provided evidence from a plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people in April.

Mr Tusk said Monday (2 August) that the interior minister and head of an investigation commission, Jerzy Miller, should during his forthcoming visit to Russia tell Moscow that Poland "categorically" expects documents needed for the ongoing inquiry.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The Polish side will be waiting for information and explanations about the reasons hampering the Russian side in forwarding the appropriate documents," Mr Tusk said, according to the Irish Times. "Now, when the probe is entering its final phase, our co-operation is worse than at the beginning," he added.

A formal request questioning the reasons for the delay will be addressed to the head of the Russian MAK Interstate Aviation Committee.

"Several weeks ago I submitted a list of documents that are of interest to the Polish commission but which it has not yet received," Mr Miller said Monday.

The exact date of Mr Miller's visit to Moscow is not yet known. Meanwhile, Mr Tusk said he would personally meet Russian government leaders or President Medvedev, if necessary.

Attorney general Andrzej Seremet said during a press conference last week that Poland was promised a further ten volumes of documents to be provided in August and expressed "slight concern" about the lack of Russian response in the hand-over deal.

Russia's initial cooperation after the crash near Katyn was seen as a possible new beginning in the relations between Warsaw and Moscow and was welcomed by Polish leaders.

But local Russian authorities since then have appeared to delay the passing of some documents and evidence from the aircraft crash site, causing annoyance in Warsaw.

In May, Mr Miller, accompanied by the attorney general and chief military prosecutor, went to Moscow to negotiate access to the black boxes storing recordings of pilots' conversation before the crash.

A spokesman for the Polish prosecution service said before the visit its main purpose was "to get assurances that the investigation materials will be transmitted to Poland as soon as possible."

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

Analysis

Relief in EPP group, as Orbán's party finally leaves

The debate over Fidesz had become an unbearable political burden on EPP - but it also represented a core dilemma for many centre-right, mainstream parties struggling to deal with their populist challengers.

EPP group moves forward to suspend Orban's Fidesz

MEPs are scheduled to vote on Wednesday to change the rules of procedure of the centre-right European People's Party parliamentary group to allow the suspension of a member party.

News in Brief

  1. EU postpones decision on labelling gas 'sustainable'
  2. MEPs call for mass surveillance ban in EU public spaces
  3. Greek and Turkish ministers trade jibes in Ankara
  4. Biden repeats opposition to Russia-Germany pipeline
  5. Navalny in danger, letter warns EU foreign ministers
  6. Lithuania keen to use Denmark's AstraZeneca vaccines
  7. Gas plants largest source of power-sector emissions
  8. Study: Higher risk of blood clots from Covid than vaccines

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. US rejects Slovenia-linked plan to break up Bosnia
  2. Ukraine urges Borrell to visit Russia front line
  3. Could US sanctions hit Russia vaccine sales to EU?
  4. Polish court pushes out critical ombudsman
  5. Political crises in Romania and Bulgaria amid third wave
  6. Von der Leyen's summer plans undisclosed, after Ukraine snub
  7. Over a million EU citizens back farm-animal cage ban
  8. Three options for West on Putin's Ukraine build-up

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us