Ukrainian experts who had arrived in Iran to take part in the investigation of the tragedy with the PS752 Ukraine International Airlines flight have been given access to the “black boxes”, plane debris and recordings of airport dispatchers' conversations with Ukrainian pilots, as stated by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko.
“We have faced full cooperation from the Iranian side. We have got access to both the details of the aircraft and the crash site, the police provide security,” the Foreign Minister said at a briefing at the Office of the President of Ukraine.
He noted that from the outset, local residents had access to the crash site, which hindered the investigation.
“Now our team has got access to the 'black boxes' and we are planning to begin reconstruction of negotiations shortly. Similarly we’ve got access to the recordings of conversations between the dispatchers of the flight control center at the airport in Tehran and our pilots,” Vadym Prystaiko added.
The Minister recalled that an emergency operations center on the issue of the air crash had been set up and the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine was in constant contact with the team in Tehran and was now trying to reconstruct the aircraft with the help of technical means.
The Minister noted that the debris, as well as body parts, are scattered over a large area, including settlements. Currently, Ukrainian specialists work in the area with the largest amount of debris, where the plane crashed.
The Foreign Minister stressed that the Iranian authorities coordinated their actions with the Ukrainian side, and there was no reason to speak about lack of cooperation.
“Our team continues to work. The artificial lighting was installed, the area was fenced, a hangar was allocated, where the aircraft is being gradually assembled. At the moment we observe the interaction necessary and sufficient for our specialists to draw conclusions,” the minister said.
He also said that the remnants of those killed in the plane crash had been sent to various hospitals in Tehran, and DNA profiling was now needed to identify the deceased Ukrainian citizens.
"It is very difficult to say how long it may take," Vadym Prystaiko noted.
According to the Minister, the Ukrainian expert group includes experts from all important areas who have experience in investigating aircraft crashes.
"These are very experienced people and we can rely on their knowledge," he said.
Vadym Prystaiko also reported that the Prosecutor General's Office had already sent requests for international legal assistance in the context of open criminal proceedings.
According to him, many versions of the causes of the plane crash are considered, but it is too early to draw conclusions.
“We are the country that has lost a plane, lost a crew, people - we are directly responsible for every word we say. We do not reject any version, we are not looking for a simpler or more diplomatic way,” he said.
The Foreign Minister informed that Ukraine was also initiating the establishment of an international coalition to investigate the UIA plane crash.
"Our main task is to find out the causes of this tragedy in a fair and impartial manner. If someone is to blame - to find the perpetrator,” he said.
“The main thing we want to convey to the relatives is our condolences. And the main thing that is important for them now, in our opinion, is the right to know what really happened to the plane,” Vadym Prystaiko added, expressing condolences to everyone whose relatives died as a result of the crash.