KIEV, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine does not agree with Iran's claim that the downing of the Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane was due to human error, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Tuesday.
"I want to emphasize today clearly: It is too early to say that the plane was shot down as a result of a human error, as the Iranian side claims. We have many questions, and we need a lot of authoritative, unbiased, as objective answers. At the moment, Ukraine cannot agree that the plane was shot down due to human error. We are convinced that this issue should be studied during the investigation," said Kuleba during an online briefing on Tuesday.
Kuleba added that Iran would be responsible for the downing under international law, and the Foreign Ministry would do everything to ensure that Iran pays the highest price for what happened.
The Boeing-737, en route from Tehran to Kiev, was shot down by two rockets shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on Jan. 8. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of all 167 passengers and nine crew members on board, who were citizens of Ukraine, Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, and the United Kingdom.
Later, Iran's armed forces confirmed that an "unintentional" launch of a military missile by the country was the cause of the incident.
According to Kuleba, the Iranian side expressed its readiness to visit Ukraine for negotiations regarding compensation between July 20 and July 30.
Kuleba noted that the decoding of the "black boxes" from the downed plane will start in France next week, with experts from the United States, Canada, France, Britain and Ukraine taking part.