Polish premier not to attend commemorations of Tu-154 presidential plane crash

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will not attend commemorations of the Tu-154 crash near Smolensk.

Jacek Cichocki, Chief of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, will head the Polish delegation to Smolensk to commemorate the third anniversary of the Polish presidential plane crash, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

The Polish presidential flight Tu-154 crashed when landing in Smolensk on April 10, 2010. All the 96 people onboard, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, died.

“As the tragic anniversary of the Smolensk air crash is approaching, a Polish delegation led by Jacek Cichocki, Chief of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, is planning to visit Smolensk,” Lukashevich said.

He added that the leadership of the Smolensk region was ready to render every possible assistance to the Polish delegation and arrange its participation in the commemorative events.

Warsaw demands that Russia hand over the fragments of Kaczynski’s plane to Poland.

Moscow says that according to Russian laws the plane fragments are vital material evidence, which should stay in the territory of Russia until the final procedural decision on the criminal case is passed.