Moscow, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - If the Ukrainian military were aware about the possible use of Buk missiles in the southeast of the country, they should have informed the crews flying over the territory, the head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) Alexandr Neradko said Friday.
“If we assume that the Ukrainian Armed Forces knew about the possible use of surface-to-air anti-aircraft Buk missiles, they should have facilitated the work of appropriate radar stations, the way it was done by the Russian air Forces,” he said.
Neradko stressed that in such cases the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires to immediately get in touch with the planes’ crew members and warn them about the emergency situation, which was not done in case with MH17 flight.
After the Iranian airliner was shot down over the Persian Gulf by the United States in 1988, ICAO has developed specific guidelines offering a set of measures to be taken in case of the military situation.
Neradko noted that the guidelines require that civil aircrafts did not fly over the areas of military activities and it is unclear why the ongoing military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine didn’t “prompt the aviation authorities of Ukraine and Eurocontrol to close the airspace over the southeast of Ukraine.”
According to the head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, ICAO called on Ukraine’s military authorities to inform the air traffic operators about the potential military activity in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions and now the commission investigating MH17 crash will have to find out what instructions were received by air traffic services from Ukraine’s aviation authorities and the Ministry of Defense.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All 298 people on board died in the crash. Kiev authorities and independence supporters have been trading blame for the downing of the plane, with independence supporters insisting they lacked the technology to shoot down a target flying at an altitude of nearly 32,000 feet.
On Monday, the UN Security Council condemned the downing of the passenger plane and unanimously voted in support of a thorough and independent international investigation of the incident. Russian side has supported the UN Resolution.
Earlier this week the Russian Foreign Ministry urged both sides of the Ukrainian conflict to end military actions around the crash site to ensure the security of international aviation specialists that arrived in eastern Ukraine shortly after the accident.