Updated at 11:25,18-04-2018

Upper House Chairman to Lead Belarus Delegation to Kaczynski Funeral


Barys Batura, chairman of the Council of the Republic (upper parliamentary chamber), will lead Belarus' delegation to the funeral of Polish president Lech Kaczynski in Krakow on April 18, Maryya Vanshyna, a spokeswoman for the Belarusian foreign ministry, told BelaPAN.

Mr. Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, died along with 94 others in an air crash in western Russia on April 10.

The presidents of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Russia and the United States, as well as the leaders of Israel and Italy are expected to attend the ceremony. Those in attendance also will include Herman van Rompuy, president of the European Council, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek.

Mr. Kaczynski and dozens of Poland's high-ranking officials were traveling to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Polish officers by Soviet forces near Smolensk when their plane went down in thick fog, killing all the people aboard.

Polish military leaders, leading opposition figures and the central bank governor were among those on the Russian-made Tu-154 plane, whose pilot appears to have ignored instructions from Russian air traffic controllers to land elsewhere.