Russia expects explanations from Bern regarding fighters’ escort
The Russian Embassy in Switzerland has sent a note to that country’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), where it expressed bewilderment over the approach of the Swiss Air Force’s fighters to the plane of the Rossiya Special Flight Group and asked to give explanations, the embassy’s press service told TASS on Nov.19.
"As the fighters approached the Russian plane, we have sent a note to FDFA, which contains bewilderment and request for explanations, as the permission for the flight had been received well in advance," the embassy’s press service said.
On November 18, a plane of the Rossiya Special Flight Group headed to Peru’s capital city for the APEC summit. It was met by fighters of the Swiss Air Force in the air space of that country, and was escorted to the border with France. Among the passengers on board the Il-960300 were members of President Vladimir Putin’s delegation and reporters.
Passengers of the Russian plane spotted the Swiss fighters which moved at a small interval parallel to the plane. Appearance of the fighters close to the plane caused clear disarray on board the Russian plane. The crew hurried to calm down the passengers, saying escort of the kind is used regularly on certain routes.
The Rossiya Special Flight Group is engaged in aviation services for Russian top officials, including the president and prime minister, as well as members of their delegations during official visits abroad or working trips across Russia.