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French aircraft not involved in incident with Russian plane — French Defense Ministry

October 19, 2015, 18:34 UTC+3 PARIS
The French Foreign Ministry said, without giving any details, that the aircraft involved in the incident was Swiss
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French Air Force fighter jets

French Air Force fighter jets

© AP Photo/Krzysztof Godlewski

PARIS, October 19. /TASS/. The French Defense Ministry has issued a statement saying that no French aircraft was involved in any incident with a Russian plane in French airspace, Reuters reported on Monday.

A French army source said not French warplanes were involved in any incident with a Russian plane in the French airspace.

After Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned the French ambassador, the French foreign ministry said, without giving any details, that the aircraft involved in the incident was Swiss, the agency said.

The French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that a Swiss warplane F-18 was involved in the incident.

"It's a Swiss aircraft," a French Foreign Ministry official said.

A spokesman for Geneva airport, Bernard Stampfli, said he had no information on the alleged incident, but that he was making inquiries, Reuters reported.

The incident happened as Russian parliamentary speaker Sergey Naryshkin was heading to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend an international meeting of parliamentarians. Geneva's airport is very close to Switzerland’s border with France, which may have led to confusion about whose airspace Naryshkin's aircraft was in when the incident took place.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had summoned the Ambassador of the French Republic in Moscow, Jean-Maurice Ripert, to Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov to give explanations over the dangerous proximity of a French Air Force plane in the national airspace in the morning of the same day to an airliner that was carrying to Geneva (Switzerland) a Russian parliamentary delegation led by speaker of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin to attend the 133rd assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

"The Russian side expressed its deep concern to the ambassador over the incident. It emphasised that such actions by Paris are undermining France’s credibility as the venue for multilateral meetings and negotiations," the ministry said.

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