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Swiss fighter jets escort flight with Russia’s APEC delegation

November 18, 2016, 23:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Flight attendants informed passengers that it was a routine practice for certain air routes. The escort was previously agreed and posed no threat.

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW/LIMA, November 18. /TASS/. A plane of the Russian government’s official air carrier with Moscow’s delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru on board was escorted by fighter jets of the Swiss Air Force in the country’s air space.

The plane of the Special Flight Detachment Rossiya carried members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official delegation to the APEC summit, along with a group of journalists. It took off from Moscow on Friday afternoon and landed in Lisbon for refueling before heading off for Peru.

When the aircraft entered the Swiss airspace, passengers noticed that Swiss fighter jets were approaching. Flight attendants informed passengers that it was a routine practice for certain air routes and that the escort was previously agreed and posed no threat. The plane did not divert from its original flight plan.

"The Swiss have long been escorting special flights in their airspace, and there is nothing extraordinary about it," the captain said. "We are regularly accompanied by planes of the country’s Air Force while on this route."

Special Flight Detachment Rossiya is the official air carrier of the Russian president and governmental delegations, as well as lawmakers and other high-ranking officials on their official trips in Russia and abroad.

The Russian president is to travel to Lima, Peru on Friday afternoon aboard another Rossiya aircraft that will take off from Sochi, where Putin held a meeting on defense.

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