by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Nov 19, 2016
Russia has demanded an explanation from Switzerland after two Swiss fighter jets carried out what the Swiss military said Saturday was a "routine check" of a Russian official plane in its airspace.
The plane was passing over Switzerland carrying members of the Russian delegation and journalists to Lima, Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Photographs showing the Swiss jets alongside the Russian plane were posted on social media.
"On Friday, November 18, 2016 shortly after 3 pm, two FA/18 planes of the Swiss air force carried out a routine check on a Russian state plane," said the spokesman for the Swiss military, Daniel Reist.
The purpose was "to check the identification of the plane concerned", a procedure he said was "provided for in the rules" of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Reist noted that the Swiss air force "carries out between 300 and 400 such checks every year".
But Russian authorities expressed surprise at the incident.
"We have asked for an explanation from Switzerland concerning the incident involving a Russian government plane in Swiss airspace," the Russian embassy in Bern said in a Twitter message.
It is not the first time that a Russian plane crossing Swiss airspace has been subject to such a procedure.
In October 2015, Moscow protested to the Swiss ambassador following a manoeuvre by an F/A-18 near a Russian transport plane carrying a parliamentary delegation to Geneva.
Switzerland apologised, but noted that Russian authorities had received prior notice of the move.
The Russian foreign ministry had said it was "unconvinced" by the official Swiss explanation.
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|