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    NOVOSIBIRSK, January 16 (RIA Novosti-Sibir correspondent Natalia Reshetnikova) - "An agreement reached on paying compensation to the families of those killed in the air crash over the Black Sea is reflective of positive tendencies in Russia-Ukraine relationships," said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov as he visited Asian Russia's largest city, Novosibirsk, this Friday.

    According to him, talks on compensation payment to relatives of those on board the Sibir airline's TU-154 plane en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, which was shot down by a Ukraine missile S-200 on October 4, 2001, were very painstaking. Three parties were involved (78 casualties included 66 passengers who were either citizens of Israel or people with double citizenship and 12 members of the crew). The world practice shows that two years for talks over such an issue is rather a brief period.

    "A decision has been finally made. There is no way returning the dead but the relatives will be anyway able to make up for some moral damage," said the minister.

    What matters here above all is that the final solution contains common terms, that is equal principles of compensation to Israel and Russia. Earlier it was decided that the compensation to Israel would be $200,000 for each killed passenger.

    The agreement with Ukraine on compensation to relatives of TU-154 aircrash victims will be ratified at a Russian Duma session this Friday. Ukraine's parliament, Supreme Rada, is to ratify it at one of its nearest sessions. Ukraine's Supreme Rada ratified a similar agreement between Ukraine and Israel last December 25.

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