Ukraine has said its first round of talks with Iran held in Kyiv about the downing of a Ukrainian airliner in January had been “constructive”, but he said it was too early to say how much compensation Tehran would agree to pay.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday an Iranian delegation agreed to the terms of next round of talks, which – according to the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office – was set for October.
“Of course, if the negotiations with Iran are unsuccessful, then we will go to international courts and I have absolutely no doubt that we will bring Iran to justice. But this is plan B,” Kuleba said.
“And plan A is negotiations with Iran and the solution of all these issues and the payment of compensation. We saw Iran was disposed to a serious and substantive conversation,” he said.
Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, told the Iranian state news agency IRNA that his country was “in principle” prepared to pay damages to Ukraine.
“We consented to it in principle, but the matter is very time-intensive,” he said.
He also said the exact time of the payments was still to be determined and there remained several technical and legal matters to be examined and discussed.
The Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 airliner was shot down by Iranian air force shortly after the takeoff on January 8, killing all 176 people on board.
Iran had initially blamed the crash on a technical problem, but then admitted to unintentionally shooting down the airliner amid heightened tensions with US forces in neighbouring Iraq.
In its final report on the crash from mid-July, the Iranian aviation agency spoke of “human error”, saying that a malfunctioning radar system caused communication problems with the responsible military unit.
Iran has handed the plane’s cockpit black boxes over to France. They are currently being analysed by French air security authorities.