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Lithuanian Minister Criticizes State Of Russian Military

23 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuanian Defense Minister Gediminas Kirkilas says the crash of a Russian warplane in Lithuania was likely an accident resulting from poor coordination and planning by the Russian Air Force.

Kirkilas said the 16 September crash showed the sorry state of the Russian military and questioned why the plane was armed with four air-to-air missiles.

Earlier this week, Kirkilas accused Russia of obstructing an investigation into the crash.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying the crash was caused when navigational and communication systems failed aboard the plane.