WARSAW, August 1. /TASS/. A Polish prosecutor has declined to comment on the affair of the Russian air pilot whose light plane was intercepted by Polish F-16 fighters and handed over to the police of the city of Radom last weekend.
"We will make no comment on the affair, at least until tomorrow. Some coordination is in progress," the prosecutor of the Radom District Prosecutor’s Office Angieszka Dusik told TASS. Earlier, the Radom police force advised TASS to put questions to the prosecutor’s office.
Poland’s Defense Ministry on Sunday said F-16 Air Force planes intercepted a light Russian plane for violating the country’s airspace. According to Defense Ministry spokesman Bartholomew Misiewicz the incident occurred on Friday, July 29.
"A Russian aerobatics plane violated closed airspace. Its pilot was heading for Krakow. As soon as there was evidence it had entered a no-fly zone without special permission, our F-16s were ordered into the air," Misiewicz said on Polish television.
The Russian pilot received radio instructions confirmed by gestures.
"He obeyed the orders," Misiewicz said, adding that after the plane landed at Radom the pilot was detained by police. According to the available information, the Russian pilot was on the way to Radom for an international aerobatics competition due to begin on August 5.
The head of the Radom aerobatics club Stanislaw Szczepankowski has said the Russian was set free after checks and is now getting ready for the world aerobatics championships scheduled to begin in Radom on August 5.
"All is well. All is settled. He (the pilot) is already flying with us," Szczepankowski told local media.
Embassy is making inquiries
In the meantime the Russian embassy in Warsaw is looking into the affair, the embassy’s spokeswoman Valeria Perzhinskaya has told TASS.
"The embassy in Warsaw has received no messages from the Russian citizen or official notifications from the Polish side. The embassy is clearing up the situation," Perzhinskaya said.
Poland on July 24 - August 1 imposed restrictions on all flights by light planes for the period of World Youth Days attended by the Pope. All entertainment and training flights were prohibited inside an area of 100 kilometers around Krakow. The ban applied to drones, too. The one who uses them in violation of the introduced restrictions may face a prison term of up to five years.