Ukranian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters that Ukraine will ask Iran to hand over the black boxes from the downed Ukranian passenger plane when the Iranian delegation visits for a meeting on Monday. Ukraine will try to convey the message that handing over the black boxes would show to the world that Iran wants an unbiased investigation of the crash.
The Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami is visiting Ukraine to apologise and acknowledge Iran's role in the downing of the Ukranian passenger plane. Prystaiko hopes that the talks with Eslami can go beyond political discussions and into the discussion of practical problems.
Among the practical problems that Prystaiko wishes to discuss, the return of the black boxes is of particular importance. According to reports, Iran had agreed to return the black boxes to Ukraine but later denied the reports and claimed that it was trying to analyze the black boxes itself.
Referring to the report that Iran had chosen to hand over the black boxes and then their retraction, Prystaiko said that this created somewhat of a misunderstanding as to if the black boxes were being handed over or not.
All 176 souls on board the Ukranian passenger plane were lost when Iran's Revolutionary Gaurd shot down the plane. The victims included 57 Canadian citizens as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans, and four British citizens. Most of those killed were Iranians.
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 that was designed and built in the U.S. The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and U.S. group GE Aviation. Investigators from both countries have been invited to take part in the probe.
(With Inputs from AP)