According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, French Ambassador to Moscow Jean-Maurice Ripert was summoned for explanations in connection with the dangerous proximity of the aircraft to the French Air Force board with Russian State Duma delegation led by the chairman Sergei Naryshkin. French Ambassador has expressed deep concern to Russia in connection with an event, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to RIA Novosti.
As soon as the Russian side has received clarification from Jean-Maurice Ripert, the Russian Foreign Ministry brought an apology to French Foreign Minister through diplomatic channels.
Plane with Naryshkin and his colleagues headed for Geneva, where they will participate the 133rd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly.
French Ministry of Defense denied that their air force took part in the “incident” with the plane and claimed Swiss aircraft scared Russian parliamentarians.
Naryshkin said to the media that he didn’t see the military aircraft, but was “aware” of what happened. His colleagues were more talkative.
“At an altitude of 3700 meters above the Swiss border to the board of the Russian delegation approached the French Air Force fighter and made a dangerous maneuver, despite the fact that the flight of the Russian delegation was carried out within the previously agreed international air corridor,” – complained MP Sergey Gavrilov.
Later the Swiss side stated that such activities are a standard test procedure.
It is reported that the Russian airliner with government members was really approached by he Swiss Armed Forces aircraft F/A-18. Switzerland said this is a standard check procedure.
“For us it is an absolutely normal activity. It was the F/A-18 of Switzerland, which took off from Biel at 10.20. He checked the numbers of Russian aircraft, bound for Geneva. This is a standard procedure and there was no “dangerous proximity” – said Peter Minder, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.
According to him, such checks are not a rare phenomenon, and they are conducted many times a year. Swiss Armed Forces has also made a decision to verify selectively diplomatic flights, including from France, Russia and the United States. In the case of the Russian airliner, the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport knew that the aircraft has diplomatic status.