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Switzerland preparing explanations over incident with plane carrying Russian lawmakers

October 20, 2015, 13:50 UTC+3 GENEVA
President of the Swiss Parliament’s National Council Stephane Rossini described the incident as a "lack of coordination" and expressed hope it would not tell on the relations between the two countries
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© EPA/URS FLUEELER

GENEVA, October 20. /TASS/. Switzerland is to refer a note to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the Monday incident with a plane carrying a Russian parliamentary delegation, a Russian lawmaker who was onboard the plane said on Tuesday.

Sergey Gavrilov, the chairman of the property committee of the Russian State Duma (lower parliament house), said after a meeting with President of the Swiss Parliament’s National Council Stephane Rossini that the latter had described the incident as a "lack of coordination" and expressed hope it would not tell on the relations between the two countries.

The Russian lawmaker said the Swiss side had promised to refer a note with explanation to the Russian foreign ministry.

Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Marc Crevoisier confirmed to TASS the ministry was preparing a note over the incident. He said the note would offer explanations of the situation, which was actually a routine control procedure. "There was no incident. There is nothing to apologize for," he said.

Switzerland earlier 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 airlines was carrying a Russian parliamentary delegation led by lower house speaker Sergey Naryshkin who were bound for Geneva to take part in a session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

"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. There is nothing unusual in this," he said, adding that the Swiss military pilot only wanted to identify the plane. According to him, Switzerland conducts about 100 similar checks per year on average.

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