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Bulgaria denies air access to Syria-bound Russian plane carrying aid

October 16, 2015, 15:34 UTC+3 SOFIA

The permission for the flight was not granted due to the late submission of the application, the official spokesperson for Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry says

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© TASS/Marina Lystseva

SOFIA, October 16. /TASS/. Bulgaria has rejected Russia’s request for an air access for the emergencies ministry’s plane carrying humanitarian aid for Syria due to formal reasons, the official spokesperson for Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"We refused to grant permission for the flight in the Bulgarian airspace for the Russian aircraft due to the late submission of the application," Betina Zhoteva said.

Russia sent the request on October 14 and the flight was scheduled on Friday. "Under the regulations, it takes five days to consider it," she said.

Bulgaria’s refusal to provide its airspace for the Russian plane bound for Syria will have no impact on the delivery of humanitarian aid to the war-torn country, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said on Friday.

"The special flight of the emergencies ministry has successfully flown to Latakia [Syria] via an alternative route. Bulgaria’s refusal to allow the flight through its territory has no way affected the humanitarian mission," a spokesman said.

In September, Bulgaria also closed its airspace for the flights of Russian aircraft with humanitarian aid for Syria. The ban was introduced for the period of September 1-24. Bulgaria said the move came as it had "reasonable doubts the cargoes are not the declared ones." "The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry made that decision of its own accord," Zhoteva said earlier.

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