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Russian embassy in UK calls Aeroflot jet search at Heathrow blatant provocation

March 31, 0:46 updated at: March 31, 1:03 UTC+3

Border Force and Customs officers have searched the aircraft that was conducting the Aeroflot flights 2582 / 2583, Moscow - London - Moscow, the embassy said

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© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

LONDON, March 31. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy to the UK has called the search of an Aeroflot jet organized by the British authorities on Friday ‘a blatant provocation’ that defied the accepted international rules.

"Today, we have witnessed another blatant provocation by the British authorities," the Embassy said in a report at its official homepage.

"Border Force and Customs officers have searched the aircraft that was conducting the Aeroflot flights 2582 / 2583, Moscow - London - Moscow," it said. "This kind of event is extraordinary. Moreover, the British officials tried to search the aircraft without the crew being present, something categorically prohibited by the rules in force."

"After an Embassy officer arrived at the airport, long negotiations were conducted that allowed to ensure the right of the captain to be take part in the search," the embassy said. "After the search was over, the British officers refused to provide any written document that would specify the reasons for their actions, their legal foundation and their outcome."

"Our attempts to get in touch with the Foreign Office in order to clarify the reasons of the inappropriate behavior of British officials did not bring fruit," the report said. "The Embassy has sent a diplomatic note demanding the British side to provide explanations of the incident."

The Embassy promised careful analysis of the incident.

"At this moment, we have no other explanation but that the incident at Heathrow is in one way or another connected with the hostile policy that the UK government is conducting with regard to Russia," the Embassy said.

Russia’s embassy in the United Kingdom managed to defend the Aeroflot jet captain’s right to be present while his plane was searched by the British authorities.

"The British officials tried to search the aircraft without the crew being present, something categorically prohibited by the rules in force. After an Embassy officer arrived at the airport long negotiations were conducted that allowed to ensure the right of the captain to be take part in the search," the embassy said.

The Embassy managed to defend the Aeroflot jet captain’s right to be present while his plane was searched by the British authorities.

"The British officials tried to search the aircraft without the crew being present, something categorically prohibited by the rules in force. After an Embassy officer arrived at the airport long negotiations were conducted that allowed to ensure the right of the captain to be take part in the search," the embassy said.

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