UK Shares with Moscow Some Intelligence Data about Russian Plane Crash in Egypt
The UK has delivered to Moscow its assessments regarding the Russian plane crash in Egypt which suggest a terrorist act as a likely cause, Russia’s sputniknews.com reported on Monday.
The assessments had been made on the basis of the information available to the UK government and the conclusions had been shared with the country’s partners, including Russia, a Foreign Office spokesman told sputniknews.com.
“[…] there is a high probability the Russian airliner was brought down by an explosive device,” the spokesman said.
UK and U.S. intelligence sources suggested last week that the crash was caused by a bomb explosion on board Airbus A-321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia en route from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Flight 9268 crashed minutes after take-off in North Sinai on October 30, killing all 224 people on board.
Several days after the accident big airlines suspended flights over Sinai Peninsula until the investigation identifies the causes of the crash.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin agreed to halt all Russian passenger flights to Egypt last week, acting on recommendation of Russian security service FSB, and ordered the evacuation of some 50,000 Russian tourists from Egypt.
A Kremlin spokesman confirmed on Monday that the UK had provided ‘certain data on the Russian plane crash’ to Moscow, TASS reported on Monday.
"We can confirm that certain data has been handed over by the British side," the Russian news agency quoted the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
Peskov, however, declined to elaborate what particular data he referred to, neither did he answer a reporter’s question whether the data had affected Russia’s decision to suspend all passenger flights to Egypt, TASS said.
He also refused to comment on assertions made by Egyptian investigators of the plane crash, who told Reuters earlier that they were “90 percent sure’’ that the noise heard in the final second of a cockpit recording of Flight 9268 was a bomb explosion.
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