Moscow says broadly agrees with Poland crash report

29th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Poland's report on the Russian air crash that killed its president Lech Kaczynski is broadly in line with Russia's own findings, the Moscow-based inter-state air committee (MAK) said on Friday.

The committee, which investigates air disasters in the former Soviet Union, said some conclusions "were not understandable for us" but "overall" the Polish report corresponded with its findings.

Kaczynski died with 95 other people aboard his presidential jet when it crashed in April last year while landing at a military aerodrome near Smolensk in northwestern Russia in thick fog.

The chairman of the Russian committee's technical commission, Alexei Morozov, said in a statement that "the fundamental part of the conclusions given in the report correspond" to those of the Russia-based probe, released in January.

But he said that "some findings are so far not understandable to us." He pointed to Polish statements that the plane's crew was not influenced by the presence of senior officials in the cockpit, including the air force commander.

The MAK investigation concluded that top Polish officials in the cockpit put "psychological pressure" on the crew to land in dangerous weather conditions, prompting Warsaw to criticise the report as incomplete and riddled with errors.

© 2011 AFP

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