On July 15th, representatives of Russia's inter-departmental commission will meet in Novosibirsk relatives of passengers of the Tu-154 airliner, which was shot down by a Ukrainian missile on October 4th 2001. This information was disclosed on Friday by an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko.
The commission for Ukraine's compensation payments was established in compliance with a relevant decree of the Russian government. It includes representatives of the Transport, Finance, Emergencies and other Russian ministries. The commission is headed by First Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary Valery Loshchinin. Yakovenko also said that the Novosibirsk meeting will dwell on "all issues which are yet to be solved." The commission's primary objective is "to protect interests of the victims' relatives who had suffered a terrible blow and hence, their right for a compensation for moral sufferings and material damage inflicted by the death of their relatives, ought to be ensured," the diplomat stressed.
The commission is responsible for the final evaluation of the damage to be reimbursed to Russian citizens, authorities and legal entities in compliance with international law and common practice of settling such disputes. According to Yakovenko, "the reimbursement will be negotiated with the Ukrainian side." The Russian Tu-154M airliner bound to Novosibirsk was shot down by a missile during exercises of the Ukrainian air force in October 2001. There were 66 passengers, basically Israeli citizens, and 12 crewmen on board the liner.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969