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Poles seek truth on Smolensk crash

I refer to the article 'Russia crash report blames Poles', published on January 13.

The article summarises the content of the International Aviation Committee (MAK) report, presenting the results of the Russian investigation into the Smolensk catastrophe, which claimed the lives of the Polish president Lech Kaczynski, his wife and many of Poland's top political, religious and military figures.

As much as we are grateful to the Russian authorities for undergoing such a detailed and scrupulous investigation into the causes of this tragedy, Poland simply cannot accept the results of the MAK report and must question its objectivity and impartiality.

We understand the Polish side should take a huge proportion of the blame for the accident; however, we cannot accept that the Russian authorities completely wash their hands of responsibility for the catastrophe, which is what the MAK report has tried to achieve.

Poland has many objections to the way Russian air traffic control co-operated, or rather failed to co-operate, with the Polish pilots. Despite the legal regulations in place, those objections weren't considered by the authors of the report.

In February 2011, the Polish Commission investigating the causes of the Smolensk tragedy will publish their own report on this matter, which aims to be an objective and impartial account of the facts.

On behalf of the Polish government, I would like to stress that Poland's only interest in the investigation is to discover the truth of what really happened at Smolensk airport on that tragic day.

Marcin Nawrot
Polish Ambassador to Ireland

Irish Independent