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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Discusses Midair Collision in Bern

BERN, Switzerland -- Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov praised the Swiss government for its willingness to contribute toward a compensation fund for families of victims killed in an airliner collision over Germany.

Ivanov told Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey that the July 1, 2002, collision in airspace controlled by Switzerland was a top concern for the Russian people.

Russia "welcomes the Swiss government's willingness to participate in the compensation fund even before the causes of the crash are determined," Ivanov said Monday.

Calmy-Rey stressed that the goal was to provide the compensation as quickly as possible to the families of the 71 victims. "First contacts have already taken place," she said.

She gave no details about the amount and time frame for the compensation.

Rosemarie Rotzetter of the air traffic control firm Skyguide said last week that the families' lawyers have been invited to discuss an undisclosed compensation offer at the end of October.

Most of those killed were schoolchildren from Ufa, Bashkortostan, on a trip to Spain. They were on a Bashkirian Airlines Tu-154 carrying 69 people, which struck a Boeing 757 cargo plane flown by the package delivery service DHL International with a crew of two. All aboard died.