MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. NATO members’ claims about a ‘Russian military threat’ are groundless and aimed at forming Russia’s aggressive image in the eyes of the general public in the West, the head of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, said in the wake of claims by the Estonian defence ministry’s Chief Staff about an alleged violation of the country’s air space by a Russian military plane.
“Of late, routine situations involving Russian planes have ever more often been a subject matter of high-profile statements, demarches and media campaigns,” he said, adding that when it was sending planes to fly missions permitted by international law Russia was doing precisely what NATO was doing all the way.
The legislator said it was true flights by Russian aircraft had become more frequent, but what made the situation really abnormal was the “unduly high attention, close to artificial hysteria, the Western sources were paying to them in attempts to revitalize in the Western public mind the largely forgotten ‘Russian military threat’ theme.”Kosachev drew attention to the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement indicating that the intensity of flights by NATO’s military flights near the Russian borders had grown three times over the past months.
“Russia puts all this on record but never makes a fuss. It only derives the proper technical conclusions,” Kosachev said.
In the meantime, Estonia keeps insisting that a Russian military plane Antonov-72 on Christmas day ventured into its air space. Russia’s ambassador Yuri Merzlyakov, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and given a note. On Monday, the Russian Defence Ministry denied the rumoured violation of Estonia’s airspace by a Russian military plane. The flight proceeded along the expected route over neutral waters, it said.