Ukraine pledges to help Canada get access to Iran plane investigation

Offer is significant because Canada broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein

Ukraine will help Canada participate in the Iranian-led investigation of Wednesday’s plane crash near Tehran that killed dozens of people from their countries, says the Ukrainian envoy in Ottawa.

“The investigation on the ground is conducted by Iran, and Ukraine will of course contribute,” Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, said in an interview. “We’re ready to do everything we can to help the investigation. We hope that the Canadian offer of contribution into the investigation will be recognized and appreciated.”

The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, bound for Kyiv, crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital, killing all 176 people on board. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said the plane was carrying 63 Canadians, 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainian passengers and crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons.

The Ukrainian offer is significant because Canada broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, shuttering its Tehran embassy and expelling its diplomats. The government cited Iran’s support of terrorism and concerns for the safety of its diplomats. Canada has also been a vocal critic of Iran’s human-rights record, including at the United Nations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will work with its international partners to investigate the cause of the plane crash thoroughly. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Twitter that Canada would offer technical assistance in the crash investigation.

Said Shevchenko: “It is heartbreaking. We have been such close friends with Canada and share so many good things. Now we will have to walk through this pain together.”

Ukraine has determined that a “substantial portion” of the 63 Canadians had booked onward tickets on a flight to Toronto and were not stopping in Kyiv, said Shevchenko.

The crash occurred just hours after Iran launched missile attacks on bases in Iraq where American troops are stationed. Iran said the attacks were retaliation for the American killing of a top general near Baghdad last week.

READ MORE: At least 8 people from B.C. killed in Iran plane crash

The Iranian military disputed any suggestion the plane had been hit by a missile, and Iranian aviation authorities said they suspected a mechanical problem brought down the 3 1/2-year-old Boeing 737. Ukrainian authorities initially said it appeared mechanical failure was to blame, but later walked that back, saying nothing had been ruled out.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Garneau are reaching out to their international counterparts, Trudeau said.

“Our government will continue to work closely with its international partners to ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians’ questions are answered,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“Today, I assure all Canadians that their safety and security is our top priority. We also join with the other countries who are mourning the loss of citizens.”

— With files from the Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

Sidney blocks off parking spaces to create more sidewalk

Additional measures to create more outdoor space for restaurants and cafe on way

Gift card scam email nearly dupes Oak Bay resident of $300

Fraud attempt posed as familiar friend

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read