07:45 GMT19 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Warsaw's complaints that Russia indefinitely keeps the wreckage of President Kaczynski's plane that crashed in 2010 are absolutely groundless, since evidence can not be handed over to Poland until the end of the investigation, Director of the Third European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik in an interview.

    "As for the Poles' point of view on international law, which allegedly does not allow Russia to store material evidence on its territory, while providing access to the evidence to Polish investigators, these references are untenable. The statement about the indefinite retention of the aircraft's wreckage by the Russian side is groundless," Oleg Tyapkin said.

    The diplomat added that, in accordance with the international practice of air accident investigating and under Russian law, material evidence was transferred only after the completion of investigation. The Polish side has not yet completed the investigation, so the wreckage should remain at the disposal of the Russian investigation.

    A Tupolev Tu-154 plane, which was carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and other top public and military members of a Polish delegation, crashed while approaching Smolensk North Airport in Russia on April 10, 2010. A year after the tragedy, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) announced following an investigation that the immediate cause of the crash was the crew's decision not to go to the emergency airfield in fog conditions, and the systemic reasons were deficiencies in the training of pilots of the presidential detachment.

    Tu-154, Lech Kaczynski, Poland, Russia
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