KYIV, Feb 2 - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that Kyiv was not satisfied with a size of compensation Iran had offered to families of Ukrainians killed in the downing of a plane near Tehran last month and would seek larger payments, Reuters reported.
“As for the Iranian side, they immediately offered us $80,000 for each family… It is too small. We will press for a larger amount,” Zelenskiy told Ukrainian “1+1” TV.
The airliner was struck by a missile on Jan. 8 shortly after it left Tehran en route to Kiev. Iran admitted its forces had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane in error, after initially denying it had a role in the incident. All 176 people aboard, including 11 Ukrainians, were killed.
Zelenskiy also said that Ukraine still was waiting for Iran to hand over the black boxes of the plane.
Five countries whose citizens were killed in the crash have been seeking a possible legal action against Iran, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.
“We have created this group of foreign ministers from the grieving nations,” Prystaiko said last month. The group met in London on Jan 16.
The five nations also included Canada - which had at least 57 passport holders aboard the doomed flight - Sweden, Afghanistan and a fifth country which he did not name. Canada has previously said these four countries and Britain had established a coordination group to support victims’ families.
Many on board were Iranians with dual citizenship.
Tehran said its air defenses were fired in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq, and that the airliner was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned toward a sensitive military base of the elite Revolutionary Guards near Tehran.
Prystaiko rejected these claims as ‘nonsense.’ (rt/ez)