Russia furious as presidential plane gets Swiss ‘escort’
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Russia furious as presidential plane gets Swiss ‘escort’

Moscow demands explanation for incident in which aircraft carrying delegation to APEC summit is tracked across Switzerland airspace

A Swiss fighter jet follows a Russian presidential plane  en route to the APEC summit in Peru on November 18, 2016 (Screen capture: YouTube)
A Swiss fighter jet follows a Russian presidential plane en route to the APEC summit in Peru on November 18, 2016 (Screen capture: YouTube)

Moscow demanded an explanation from the Swiss government after a Russian presidential plane carrying a team of journalists and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation delegation members was closely followed by three Swiss fighter jets across Switzerland’s air space.

Tensions rose when the Swiss F/A 18 jets reportedly surrounded the plane midair on three sides on Friday, and escorted it across the sky for seven minutes, but then left at the Swiss border, avoiding a crash. The plane was en route to the APEC conference in Peru.

The Russian embassy in Switzerland expressed its shock on Saturday and demanded an explanation for the incident on its official Twitter page, according to Reuters.

One of the passengers filmed the incident and uploaded the video to his Facebook profile. The 27-second video was later uploaded to YouTube.

In an official statement released Saturday the Swiss Defense Ministry asserted that the incident was a routine identity check, Reuters reported. The statement said that such checks are carried out by the Swiss air force about 400 times a year.

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