Russia denies violating Lithuanian airspace

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September 18 , 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

Vesti – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

The Russian Il-76 aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea deviated to the air borders of Lithuania with the permission of the dispatcher in Vilnius to fly around the storm front.

This was stated in the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

They stressed that two Il-76s during the flight – from Taganrog in the Rostov region to Chernyakhovsk near Kaliningrad – over neutral waters, noticed a thunderous front about 20 kilometers wide and about 60 kilometers long, which threatened the safety of aircraft and crews.

The pilots decided to deviate from the route towards the air border of Lithuania to bypass the elements and made a corresponding request to the control center of the flights of the city of Vilnius. Having received a positive response, Russian aircraft overflew the dangerous section of the road, and again returned to the route.

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The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation stressed that the pilots acted in strict compliance with the norms of international air law.

The defense department of Russia denied the statements of the Lithuanian authorities about the intentional violation of the airspace of the republic by the Russian Federation, called them politicized and untrue.

According to the Lithuanian authorities, two Russian Il-76s were in the airspace of the country late at night, and a note of protest was handed to the Russian Ambassador in Vilnius.

Claims are related to the fact that both IL-76s deliberately crossed the Lithuanian air border as part of the military exercise “West-2017”. 

Earlier it was reported that Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, at a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, complained to him that the Russian-Belarussian exercise “West-2017” allegedly imitates a military conflict with NATO and is not at all defensive, but rather aggressive and offensive.

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