World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Lithuania accuses Russia of planning Su-27 crash

Lithuanian Minister of Defense says the accident was planned beforehand

The crash of the Russian fighter Su-27, happened on 15 September in Lithuania, becomes a serious problem in the Moscow-Vilnius relations. The main reason is not even the fact that the pilot Valeriy Troyanov turned from witness into suspect. And it is not even the fact that the Lithuanian investigation may last for weeks or even for months. The thing is that Vilnius is trying to attach some political importance to this event. It seemed at first, though, that the Lithuanian authorities tried to act constructively. Nobody is going to question their desire to investigate the incident. It is another matter when it turns into mere excuses and stipulations that only impede the investigation.

Take, for example, the Minister of Defense of Lithuania Gediminas Kirkilas. At first the head of the ministry made an impression of reasonable and responsible person, who did not want to make quick conclusions. An hour after the accident he said that according to the preliminary data the accident had happened because of the malfunction in navigation equipment. He called the crash an accident that could have happened with any military or civil aircraft. The minister made a reservation saying that the final conclusion could be made only after decoding the black box of Su-27.

However, after several days Mr. Kirkilas changed dramatically in his opinion. Now he says that the accident was planned beforehand. “The accident could be performed, for example. Anything might happen, taking into account the habits of our neighbor Russia”, the head of the Ministry of Defense reported. He claimed that earlier on there had already been cases of Russian aircrafts attacking the territory of NATO countries, with reasons for borders violation never determined. It is worth mentioning that the minister's words do not base upon any investigation results. Lithuanians themselves admitted that they do not have technical possibilities to decode the black box of the Russian fighter aircraft.
 
The minister should be corrected: anything might happen, taking into account the habits of our Baltic neighbors. It is obvious that Russia is trying its best to harm its neighbors. No matter how small damage may be, it is damage still. Crafty Russians are ready to drop their military aircraft worth $35 million on Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia any time or to damage something worth 3000 euro…We do not squander our gifts on trifles, Baltic neighbors know this better than anybody else.

Seriously speaking, the investigation can turn into absolute farce any time. Especially, if the Lithuanian authorities will permit themselves such statements as that of the Minister of Defense. Seems like there will be useless fuss around the accident and wails about threats from the East. It would be great if this assumption stayed only an assumption.

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