MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – The debris of a plane that crashed in Russia in 2010, killing Poland’s then-president Lech Kaczynski should be handed over to Poland and the Polish people, Poland’s new ambassador to Russia, Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz said in an interview with RIA Novosti Tuesday.
“The wreckage of the Polish plane carrying President Lech Kaczynski and a delegation of senior politicians and public figures on board that crashed on Russian territory should be handed over to the Polish government and the Polish people,” Pelczynska-Nalecz stressed.
“We are bewildered that four years after the accident the plane has still not been handed over. We reiterate our expectations. There is symbolic meaning for Poland and Polish citizens in getting the wreckage back,” the ambassador added.
The Russian-made Tu-154 passenger plane carrying Kaczynski, his wife and a number of high-ranking officials crashed in heavy fog as it attempted to land at an airfield near Smolensk on April 10, 2010. None of the 96 passengers aboard the plane survived.
Russia pledged to return the wreckage to Poland after an investigation by Russian and Polish officials that was initially scheduled for completion in April of 2014. It was later decided to extend the probe for an additional six months.
Pelczynska-Nalecz is the first woman ambassador to Russia in Poland’s history. Incumbent envoy Wojciech Zajaczkowski, who held the post since 2010, is returning to Warsaw this fall.