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Russian helicopters conducted no flights near Estonian border Feb 18 — defense ministry

February 19, 21:50 UTC+3
Estonian Defense Forces spokesperson Lieutenant Kristel Maasikmet earlier said Russia’s Mi-8 helicopter allegedly violated Estonia’s airspace on Thursday in the sky over Vasknarva
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Bobylev

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russian army aviation helicopters conducted no flights near the Russian-Estonian border on February 18, the Russian Defense Ministry said commenting on media reports on the alleged violation of the Russian-Estonian border by a Mil Mi-8 military helicopter.

"Army aviation helicopters conducted no flights in this area on February 18," the Russian Defense Ministry’s Media Affairs and Information Department said.

Estonian Defense Forces spokesperson Lieutenant Kristel Maasikmet earlier said Russia’s Mi-8 helicopter allegedly violated Estonia’s airspace at 12:55 Moscow time on Thursday in the sky over Vasknarva.

Maasikmet asserted that the airspace violation had been registered both visually and with the help of technical devices. According to her version, "the helicopter’s transponder was turned off, and the crew submitted no pre-flight plan." "The helicopter remained in Estonia’s airspace for less than one minute," she said.

The Russian ambassador was summoned to the Estonian Foreign Ministry over the incident where a note of protest was handed over to him.

"The ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry where he was given a note. The Estonian side claims that a Russian helicopter allegedly violated the border and flew 492 meters into the Estonian territory to stay there for about one minute. Our competent agencies will verify this information and we will hand over to Estonia our vision of the situation," a spokesman for the Russian embassy told TASS.

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