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Russian experts needed to decode Su-27 black box

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AKHTUBINSK (Astrakhan region), September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Lithuania will not be able to access the information from the black box of the Su-27 Flanker fighter that crashed on September 15 without the help of Russian experts, a senior Russian air force official said Wednesday.

Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy commander of the Russian Air Force, said, "I am sure that unilateral steps to decode the black box will not amount to anything. Russia is ready to work together, and only our experts can decode the recorder."

Nogovitsyn said there had been absolutely no violations of any intergovernmental aviation agreements.

The Su-27 fighter flying from St. Petersburg to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad crashed in Lithuania Thursday after an apparent navigation equipment failure. The pilot, Major Valery Troyanov, managed to safely eject, and no one was hurt in the incident.

Spokeswoman for the Lithuanian Defense Ministry Ruta Apeikyte said Wednesday that the country had turned to NATO for help in decoding the black box.

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