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MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will not leave the defence minister plane incident in Poland without a response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
On Friday, Poland refused permission for a plane carrying Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to use their airspace while returning home from a visit to Slovakia. The plane carrying Shoigu, who had attended a ceremony commemorating a wartime anti-Nazi uprising in Slovakia, had to turn back and landed in Bratislava. After a brief stop and refueling there, the aircraft was allowed to overfly Poland.
“The Russian delegation was warmly welcomed in Slovakia, remembering what contribution our country made to the cause of the liberation of Slovak people from Nazism,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “But on the way back, an outrageous incident happened - the Polish side, which had given permission for the Russian plane to overfly to Slovakia, refused to let it fly back to Moscow, allegedly for technical reasons.”
The Russian delegation had to immediately return to Bratislava because the plane was short of fuel. It created a real threat to safety of the flight, the ministry noted.
Only after the Russian side’s demarche, the Polish authorities agreed to confirm the earlier given permission to fly over Poland’s territory, the ministry said, adding the incident was viewed as a crude violation of the norms and ethics of interstate conduct, and in the context of the celebration in Slovakia, as a sacrilegious move against historic memory and those who saved Europe from Nazism.