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Russian diplomat comments on Aeroflot plane search conducted by UK authorities

The British side provided no grounds for the Russian plane's search

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The British authorities have barred the crew of a Russian Aeroflot plane bound for Moscow from being present during the search of their plane, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"The British authorities asked the Russian crew, including the captain, to leave the aircraft. The captain suggested the search be conducted in his personal presence as in line with the instructions he cannot leave the plane. As of now, the Britons have begun the search, keeping the captain inside the cockpit, not letting him be present during the search," she told the Rossiya-24 television channel.

Russian diplomats are in contact with the British authorities over the search of Russia’s Aeroflot jet at London’s Heathrow airport. Moscow urges London to stop provocative actions: 

"Officers of the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom are currently on the way to the airport. The Russian diplomatic mission, the Russian ambassador [Alexander Yakovenko] are getting in touch with the local side," Zakharova stated. "We urge the British authorities to stop provocative actions and get the situation back to the legal framework."

The actions of the British side that searched Russia’s Aeroflot plane in London’s Heathrow airport run counter to the international practice of plane searching, an Aeroflot spokesman told TASS on Friday.

"The UK police and customs officers searched an Aeroflot jet at London’s airport. Aeroflot is baffled over the fact that no reasons for that were provided. During the search, the British side ordered the crew to leave the plane, letting only the captain to stay. However he was isolated in the cockpit. Such actions on the part of the British side run counter to the international practice of conducting such searches," he said.