An Iranian missile likely accidentally brought down a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran, killing all 176 aboard, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.
The Ukraine International Airlines flight to Kiev from Tehran crashed Wednesday, hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq. The U.S. government believes Iran shot down the plane by mistake, three unnamed U.S. officials said.
Iran denied the Ukrainian airliner had been hit by a missile, with government spokesman Ali Rabiei saying in a statement that such reports were “psychological warfare against Iran.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Friday that the possibility a missile downed the airliner had not been ruled out but that it had not been confirmed yet. The Ukrainian government said Thursday it was investigating reports of debris from a Russian-made Tor-M1 missile.
Here’s how Russian lawmakers have reacted to the news:
— Franz Klintsevich, member of the defense committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council:
“It looks a lot like [the result of an] external impact, indeed. But this requires verification. We must wait.”
“Looking for a Russian footprint in the Boeing crash is foolish.”
— Leonid Slutsky, head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma:
“Any statement on the causes of the Ukrainian Boeing 737 crash made before the investigation ends is premature and could be used for political purposes.”
“We need facts and concrete evidence, not imaginary references to intelligence. So far, it’s all unfounded.”
— Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee:
“The West has blamed Iran in advance for this tragedy.”
“I believe that there are no grounds [for Trudeau] to make such statements. Anything is possible, but I don’t see any proof thus far.”
“There is no and can be no Russian trace.”
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.
(c) The Moscow Times