Ukraine is keenly interested to conduct thorough investigation into the circumstances of the downing of PS 752 and hold the perpetrators of the crime accountable in accordance with the international law
Beijing, 14 January 2020
Flight 752 (PS752) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Tehran to Kyiv carried out by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA). On 8 January 2020, the Boeing 737-8KV, operating the route was shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport owing to the missile attack launched by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, which attributed it to human error. As a result of the accident, all 176 people on board the plane, nationals of Ukraine (11 people, including 9 crew members), Iran, Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, and Germany, were killed.
In this connection the Ukrainian Embassy in China is authorized to make public the following signals:
- Ukraine is grateful to all its foreign partners for their engagement and commitment to seek justice for the victims of flight PS752;
- It was a challenge for Ukraine to find a proper diplomatic balance amid growing escalation in the region following the recent attacks in Iraq. We deliberately avoided a “blame and shame” approach as cooperation with Iran remains a critical element in order to ensure that a proper investigation is conducted and that justice is achieved on behalf of the victims;
- As a result of the constructive dialogue that Ukraine maintains with Iran, a Ukrainian expert group has been granted access to the scene and to the plane debris. Findings on the ground by the expert group have substantiated the intelligence data of our allies on a “missile” being the cause of the plane crash. The on-the-ground evidence supplemented by our partners’ intelligence reports have collectively been the driving factor that has led Iran to admit shooting down UIA Flight PS752;
- Statements by top Iranian officials on Saturday (January 11th) in which they acknowledged that a missile was responsible for the downing of flight PS752 are a testament to Ukraine’s strategy of “quiet diplomacy”. This approach was aimed at incrementally developing Ukraine’s position on the cause of the plane crash by correlating it with hard evidence identified by experts on the ground;
- We consider the acknowledgement by Iran that it was a missile fired by its military to be an important first step on the road to justice. It must now be furthered with follow-up actions by Iran in the political, legal and technical domains;
- The technical investigation of the plane crash must be continued with strict accordance to the Chicago convention;
- It is important that the perpetrators are identified within a legal framework so that justice can prevail.
- This tragedy is not, however, merely the result of a “human mistake”. A civilian airline on a routine flight was shot down by the armed forces of the nation it was legally flying through. This flight had been operating in strict accordance with international flight rules and instructions and the shooting down happened very shortly after the flight took off from the main international airport. This is clear evidence that the Government of Iran, as a whole, must take full legal responsibility for the fate of this downed aircraft, not just one individual or entity.
- Iran is considered to be wholly responsible for this tragic incident which has resulted in the deaths of 176 people. As a result, Tehran must take full responsibility for its actions under international law.
- In order to facilitate proper coordination between the grieving nations an International Coordination and Response Group has been established.
- Ukraine continues its constructive dialogue with Iran in order to expedite the repatriation of bodies and to ensure that a full and thorough investigation takes place. Our experts will continue their work on the ground in Iran. The issue of compensation and claim handling are at the top of the agenda.
- Respective authorities in Ukraine are providing all necessary support and consular assistance to the relatives of the victims. The top priority of the Government is to support the families of the victims during this difficult time, which includes identification and repatriation of the bodies.