Ukraine Starts Negotiations With Iran Over 737 Crash Compensation

The first round of talks has concluded in Kyiv between government representatives of Ukraine and Iran over compensation for the downing of flight PS752. The Boeing 737 was brought down by an Iranian missile on January 8th and intense controversy has surrounded the incident ever since – not just because of the act itself, but because of Iran’s handling of the crisis.

PS752 was a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines. It was shot down just after departure from Tehran for Kyiv on January 8th, 2020. Photo: Getty Images

Ukraine: ‘constructive’ talks

According to Al Jazeera, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba labeled the talks, which took place this past week, “constructive.” However, he also said that it was still too early to disclose an amount for which the Iranian Government would pay.

Kuleba went on to say on Friday that the Iranian delegation has agreed to the terms of the next round of talks. According to the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, these are set to take place in 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,”  -Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister via Al Jazeera

Ukraine 737 crash
The Iranian Government had refused to hand over the flight data recorder to foreign investigators after the incident. Photo: Getty Images

Iran: prepared to pay damages ‘in principle’

On the Iranian side, foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi, reportedly stated to Iranian state news that Iran was prepared to pay damages to Ukraine “in principle,” saying that his Government has agreed to compensation, “but the matter is very time-intensive,” citing various technical and legal matters that still need to be worked through.

uia 752 victim families
176 people on board the aircraft were killed. Photo: Getty Images

What happened to PS752?

For those unaware of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS752, the Boeing 737 was shot down by the Iranian air force shortly after the takeoff on January 8th. Sadly, all 176 passengers on board died.

Initially, the Iranian Government said the crash was due to a technical problem but later admitted to an unintentional shooting.

A civil aviation report released earlier in July noted that the Iranian military was on high alert due to a recent exchange of events with US forces. The American military had killed a high-ranking Iranian General on January 3rd. In retaliation, Iran launched a ballistic-missile attack targeting US soldiers in Iraq. It was in this atmosphere of increased tensions that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired upon PS752. They misidentified it as a hostile military aircraft.

EASA issues warning over iranian air space
A surprisingly high proportion of those flying had ties to Canada. Altogether, there were 55 Canadian citizens and 30 Canadian permanent residents. Photo: Getty Images

The report went on to say that those operating the missile battery also could not communicate with their command center and did not obtain approval from ranking officials to open fire.

Simple Flying reached out to Ukraine International Airlines requesting comment. However, at the time of publication, no response was received. This article will be updated if any new information is available.

What are your thoughts about this news? How do you see this situation panning out? Let us know what you think in the comment section.