Part of Ukrainian rescuers returning from Iran, major part stays in Iran – NSDC secretary
Part of Ukrainian expert team, on a par with the rescuers, who have been working in Iran at the crash site of the Boeing 737 of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) from the first day, are returning to Ukraine, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov told Radio Liberty online edition.
"The major part of the experts remain in Tehran," Danilov said.
According to Danilov, Ukrainian party is waiting for arrival of the representative of Iranian investigation team.
Danilov met with U.S. Chargé d'Affaires a.i. in Ukraine Kristina Kvien, during which they discussed the current state of investigation of the Boeing plane crash. Kvien, for her part, presented condolence from the U.S. embassy over the tragedy and said the U.S. party was prepared to provide all necessary aid and information in a course of the investigation.
In turn, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andriy Zayats emphasized that the expert and rescue group of Ukraine working in Iran has an official status and the results of its work are procedurally significant. "It has an absolutely legal status. All that it is doing is not amateur initiative and all the actions that are taken by our experts in Tehran are procedurally significant," he told reporters on Monday.
Zayats has recalled that the expert search group includes more than 40 representatives of 12 state bodies of Ukraine. "Today, some of them, who fulfilled their function, are returning to Kyiv. There are forensic experts and other colleagues who are still needed there," said Zayats.
On January 12, Oleksiy Danilov said that the plane of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry that airlifted a group of Ukrainian experts to Tehran on January 8 for investigating the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines flight will return to Ukraine upon the completion of all procedures and with bodies with the deceased Ukrainians onboard.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the group of Ukrainian experts that arrived in Iran included 15 rescuers, four investigators and three experts from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.