Polish, Russian experts to study Smolensk plane wreckage

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced on Thursday that Russian and Polish investigators will carry out an additional examination of parts of the Polish Tu-154M plane which crashed in 2010 in the Smolensk air disaster.

In a statement, the committee explained the examination will take place "in the presence of Polish representatives" and will concern the Tu-154M's construction elements and generators, among other parts.

The study is scheduled for September 3-7, the body added.

Svetlana Petrenko, the committee's spokeswoman, told the TASS news agency that the institution had received and approved an application to carry out evidential activities on Russian territory.

She added that "for the period between September 3 and 7, 2018, an additional examination of evidence has been scheduled to take place, in the presence of Polish representatives."

The news was confirmed to PAP by Ewa Bialik, the spokeswoman for Poland's National Prosecutor (PK), although the official declined to provide details of the planned work or the make-up of the Polish delegation.

The wreckage of the Tu-154M plane is situated at the Smolensk airport. Poland has repeatedly asked for it to be returned, but Russia says it must first finish its own probe into the 2010 air disaster.

On April 10, 2010, a Polish government plane crashed near a military airfield in Smoleńsk, western Russia, killing all 96 people on board, including then Polish President Lech Kaczyński, the First Lady, the last Polish President-in-exile Ryszard Kaczorowski and dozens of senior government officials and military commanders.

The delegation was on its way to nearby Katyń in western Russia to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Katyń Forest Massacre in which some 22,000 Polish officers and members of the intelligentsia were murdered at the hands of the Soviets.