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France "regrets" its ambassador was summoned in Moscow over plane incident — media

October 19, 2015, 21:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to give explanations over a dangerous proximity between a French Air Force fighter and a Russian airliner
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French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert

French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, October 19./TASS/. France regrets that its ambassador was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with an incident with a plane carrying a Russian parliamentary delegation, French foreign and defense ministries said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to give explanations over a dangerous proximity between a French Air Force fighter and a Russian airliner carrying to Switzerland a Russian parliamentary delegation led by lower house Speaker Sergey Naryshkin, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Reuters has quoted the ministries’ statement as saying "No French army aircraft was involved in the incident with the official Russian aircraft that the Russian Foreign Ministry mentioned". "We regret therefore that the French ambassador to Moscow was summoned," it said.

Later on Monday, Switzerland confirmed that its F/A-18 fighter closely approached on Monday a Russian airliner in Swiss airspace in the vicinity of the city of Biel, a representative of the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS) said.

"The Swiss fighter plane F/A-18 approached a Russian plane in Swiss airspace over the city of Biel within the framework of a standard procedure of police control in the air. It happened at 10:22, local time (11:22, Moscow time," DDPS spokesman Peter Minder said on Monday.

"It was a standard procedure adopted in Switzerland," he said. "There is nothing unusual in this."

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