Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs: We don’t consider ourselves obliged by PACE resolution on Tu-154M wreckage
Published: October 17, 2018
Russia does not consider itself obliged by the decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe made at a time when the Russian delegation does not participate in the work of the Assembly - said the spokesperson of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commenting on the PRPRE resolution calling for the return of Tu-154M wreckage to Poland.
"The fundamental principle of the Russian Federation is that we do not consider ourselves obliged by the decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe made during the forced non-participation of the Russian delegation in the work of the Assembly" - said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement sent to Polish Agency Press on October 15, 2018.
The Ministry reiterated its assessment that the wreckage of a Polish plane is evidence in the investigation conducted by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. Elements of the aircraft "in accordance with the standards of national legislation should remain in Russia until the completion of all necessary procedures" - said the Ministry. It added that Russia's position was "explained many times."
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution calling on Russia to return Poland to the wreckage of the Tu-154M aircraft, which crashed near Smolensk in 2010. The document indicates that the continuous refusal of the Russian authorities to return the wreckage of the Polish Air Force One is an abuse of law.
The resolution states that according to the Chicago Convention, the country in which the accident occurred has the obligation to return the wreckage and other evidence as soon as the technical investigation of the disaster is completed, which took place in January 2011.
The document indicates that the continuous refusal of the Russian authorities is an abuse of law and increase speculation on the Polish side that Moscow has something to hide in this matter.
41 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted in favor of the resolution, 6 abstained, no one was against.
The resolution was based on the report by rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt from the Netherlands, who elaborated it on the basis of the opinion of two international law experts - Timothy Brymer from Great Britain and Pablo Mendes de Leon from Spain. After analyzing the factual and legal aspects of the case, they indicated that in light of the Chicago Convention the wreckage should be promptly returned to Poland.
The Parliamentary Assembly is one of the two main statutory bodies of the Council of Europe. There are 648 delegates (324 representatives of national parliaments and the same number of deputies); the number of delegates depends on the number of inhabitants of the state. The Council of Europe, centered in 47 countries, based in Strasbourg, focuses on the defense and promotion of human rights and the principles of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.
After the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia was deprived of the right to vote in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Since then, the Russian delegation, as a sign of protest, has not participated in the meetings of this body.
The Tu-154M wreckage has been on the tarmac of Smolensk airfield for over eight years. The Russian authorities claim that they cannot hand it over to Poland until they finish their investigation. Representatives of the Polish authorities have repeatedly raised the issue of returning the wreckage and electronic devices of the plane in talks with the Russian side.
On 10 April 2010, in the Polish Air Force One the Tu-154M aircraft crashed near Smolensk. All 96 people were killed instantly, including President Lech Kaczyński and his wife, the highest commanders of the Polish Army and the last president of Poland in exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski. The Polish delegation was on its way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
Click on the thumbnails below to view screen dumps from the detectors used to examine the wreckage and seats from the Polish president's plane crash in Smolensk. An "X" denotes the presence of the detected explosive substance and its type. The underlined Polish word "Probka" or "probka" in the screen dump 1 and 2, means "Sample"
Why did they all fly on the same plane?
Synopsis: January 12, 2013, Toronto, Canada. The wife of the late Deputy-Minister of Culture Tomasz Merta: "What I am about to tell you now, are suspicions - and not even my own - but, rather the [suspicions of the] individuals in the inner-circles of the [Polish] military... I heard a statement that was made - but, I am not taking any responsibility for how credible, or not credible it is. [I heard that] had the generals and journalists' not been re-assigned to different aircraft, it wouldn't have been the Tupolev [Tu-154M], but rather the Casa [transport aircraft] that would have been taken out.
Because the Generals were no longer onboard the Casa, there was no reason for it to get airborne. And for this reason it was the Yak[-40] that flew off to Smolensk. This Casa [transport aircraft] was never examined in any way. It was not subject to any examination. Aside from a single note in the deposition given to the military, no one was interested why this aircraft didn't fly [to Smolensk]. Perhaps, this is someones crazy phantasy, but perhaps it isn't.
Some [Polish] military personnel had suggested, that it [the Casa] had to stay behind at the Okecie military [tarmack], so that the explosives could be removed from it - because they were no longer needed [...] I am only repeating what I was told."
"Disarming" Explosives ...
It is worth for us to retrace the entire process of "disarming" the case of explosive substances at the crash site. It all started with the publication of Cezary Gmyz in "Rzeczpospolita" on October 30, 2012, and information that the detectors, which were used by experts in Smolensk (in late September and October) showed traces of TNT and nitroglycerine.
As it turned out, the journalist was also reporting about the indication of Hexogen. The storm broke. The prosecution denied the publication, and ultimately, the editor-in-chief of "Rzeczpospolita," Cezary Gmyz and two other journalists lost their jobs. The entire editorial staff of one of Poland’s most popular weeklies, "Uważam Rze", was also silenced.
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