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Lithuania holds on to Su-27 black box, pilot until investigation ends

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VILNIUS, September 16 (RIA Novosti, Vladimir Vodo) - Lithuania is currently refusing to hand over either the pilot or the back box of a warplane that crashed on its territory on Thursday, the country's defense minister said.

Gediminas Kirkilas said both Major Valery Troyanov, 36, and the flight recorder would be given to Russia after an investigation had been completed.

The plane, a Su-27 Flanker fighter, crashed north of Lithuania's second biggest city, Kaunas, apparently after navigation equipment failed. The Russian Defense Ministry said it had been flying from St. Petersburg to Kaliningrad over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, when it strayed into Lithuanian airspace.

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