The Russian Federation violated Article 5.1 of the Chicago Convention that provides: 'State of Occurrence shall use every means to facilitate the investigation' and Article 5.2 that establishes the responsibility of the state conducting the investigation. Furthermore, the Russian Federation violated the rights of the Accredited Representative of Poland pursuant to Articles 5.24 and 5.25, the rights of Poland as the state having suffered fatalities or serious injuries to its citizens pursuant to Article 5.27, and the responsibility of the state conducting the investigation in preparation of the final report under Article 6.1. In conducting the investigation, the Russian Federation violated the rules and procedures of Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention and the ICAO Investigation Manual. The Polish Prosecutor General was not granted access to evidence in violation of Article 5.2 of the Chicago Convention.
Except for minor corrections, the Russian Federation ignored the Polish Response to the draft IAC Final Report. The wreckage of the Polish Governmental Airplane Tu-154M and the black boxes remain in the possession of the Russian Federation. In light of all the above, it is imperative that the international community muster the will to form an impartial international commission for the investigation of the Smolensk Crash.
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
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