Poland is thankful to Russia for its help in investigating the deadly plane crash near the western Russian city of Smolensk, which claimed the lives of the Polish president and dozens of the country's top officials.
The Soviet-made Tu-154 aircraft carrying a top-level delegation, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, hit the top of trees as it attempted to land at a Smolensk airport in thick fog on Saturday morning. All 96 people on board were killed in the crash.
"I would like to express my personal opinion and the opinions of my colleagues. We are all impressed by how well the investigation was organized by Russian specialists," Polish Attorney General Krzysztof Parulski said on Tuesday during a meeting in the situation room in Moscow, addressing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who was also present.
"I would like to say thank you for the hospitality and assistance. I'm convinced that without active cooperation we would be unable to establish the causes [of the accident]," he went on.
Russian investigators, experts and Polish specialists are jointly investigating the causes of the deadly crash. Polish military prosecutors, however, have opened their own investigation into the accident.
"The cooperation between us goes far beyond the limits of the existing Convention on mutual legal assistance," Parulski added.
As of Monday, 87 dead bodies have been recovered by Russian rescuers at the crash site. They are being sent to Moscow for identification procedures.
A special headquarters has been set up by Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov to provide assistance to the relatives arriving to the capital to identify the deceased. The Russian capital has taken upon itself all the expenses for accommodating the visitors.
On Tuesday, Russia will begin repatriating the bodies recovered from the wreckage.
MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti)