Answer given by High Representative/Vice‑President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
Conditions for participation of EU air accident investigation authorities in civil investigations carried out in territories of third countries, including in the Russian Federation, are defined in the International Standards and Recommended Practices on Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). These international standards and recommended practices define, in particular, the reciprocal participation rights of the States in their respective territories.
Regulation (EU) No 996/2010(1) implements some of the ICAO requirements into the EU internal legal framework, while adapting them to the specificity of the EU situation. Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 in principle deals with intra-EU situations, and does not affect the rights and obligations of third countries as already defined by ICAO. Its only international element related to civil air safety investigations, fully in line with the existing ICAO norms recognised by the Russian Federation, is an obligation of an EU Member State participating in an investigation concerning a civil aircraft in a third country to invite into its team an adviser from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The Commission therefore considers that the necessary international legal framework for cooperation between EU Member States and Russia in civil air accident investigations is already in place.
Nevertheless, aviation safety constitutes and will continue to constitute an important element of the discussions within the context of the EU Russia Transport Dialogue. The EU Russia Transport Dialogue forms an integral part of the Common Economic Space, one of the 4 Common Spaces on which an understanding on Road Maps was reached between the EU and Russia in 2005.
Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation and repealing Directive 94/56/EC. Text with EEA relevance (OJ L 295, 12.11.2010).