18:52 GMT28 October 2020
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    Poland's prosecutors announced earlier in the day that the country intends to detain three air traffic controllers who worked at the Smolensk North Airport during the 2010 plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski.

    Warsaw's intentions to arrest three air traffic controllers over the Smolensk plane crash are "absurd" and nothing but "Russophobic hysteria", former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

    Medvedev, who was president at the time of the tragedy, called on the Polish authorities to stop speculating about the crash, stressing that arrest or extradition of the Russian nationals was out of question.

    The former president emphasised that the cause of the catastrophe had been established and the level of cooperation between Moscow and Warsaw had been unprecedented at the time.

    However, he added that Poland is to blame for the deplorable state of the relationship between the two countries, claiming that Warsaw is trying to undermine any spirit of amity.

    According to Medvedev, the Polish authorities are trying to consolidate their voters through flagrant Russophobia.

    Smolensk Plane Crash

    The Polish Prosecutor General's Office disclosed on Thursday the names of air traffic controllers who worked at the Smolensk North Airport during the 2010 plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski, after initiating the procedure for their arrest.

    On 10 April 2010, the Tu-154 plane with Kaczynski and other high-ranking Polish officials on board crashed while landing at the Smolensk North Airport. There were 96 people on board, including 88 passengers and eight crew members who flew to the funeral events in Katyn. They all died in the crash. The Polish commission for the re-investigation of the incident has put forward various versions of what happened, one of which is the deliberate actions of Russian air traffic controllers.

    In 2011, the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee published the final report on the results of a technical investigation, according to which the primary cause of the crash was the crew’s decision to not reroute the plane to a safer landing site.

    Tags:
    Lech Kaczynski, Crash, Poland, Russia
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