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Russian senior official views incident in Romania’s airspace as provocation

July 29, 2017, 22:24 UTC+3

"This is a direct provocation that was hard to be predicted, as the route was a frequently used one," he said.

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MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin views the incident in Romania’s airspace as a planned provocation, he said in an interview with the Russia-24 TV channel, commenting on what happened to the S7 Moscow-Chisinau flight.

"This is a direct provocation that was hard to be predicted, as the route was a frequently used one," he said. "They have threatened the flight of a civil plane (and there are no other variants of flying there: charter flights are not admitted there, military flights are not admitted there either). They made this provocation not only against me, but also against Moldovan citizens who flew with me by plane."

Rogozin reiterated that due to these circumstances, an agreement was reached to fly to Moldova by civil flights. "I have flown to Transnistria five or six times as a special presidential representative by civil aircraft companies," he noted. The deputy prime minster stressed that this route had been agreed upon and Moldova’s authorities knew about it. "Sanctions are illegal in themselves, but Romania itself stated last year that it did not see any hindrances for people included in sanctions lists flying by its airspace," he highlighted.

"This is part of a big provocation and escalation of tensions that we see here," Rogozin said, adding that a few interested people were behind the incident. "This is, first, a mafia group that stands behind Moldova’s government and that understands that it has serious problems with the law and so it needed to be in line with the West. That is, it stood behind the organization of provocations against our performers and peacemakers who were going to the anniversary of the Dniester peacekeeping operation," the deputy prime minister said. At another point, according to Rogozin, Romania "became an apparent puppet of the US.’

The deputy prime minister said that, during his service as a Russian ambassador to NATO, he observed Romanian political reality. "These are one of the best instigators of all anti-Russian campaigns, together with the Balts and the Brits. So, this is what could be expected from them," he concluded.

It was earlier reported that Rogozin’s visit to Moldova on Friday was disrupted because Romania refused to allow the plane with the Russian delegation on board to pass. According to the S7 aircraft company, the regular Moscow-Chisinau flight was banned from entering Romania’s airspace by the air-traffic management service upon the pretext of a "sanctioned person" on board. The plane landed in Minsk after which the deputy prime minster flew to Moscow from the Belarusian capital by Aeroflot.

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