Lithuanian officials deny allowing Russian warplanes enter airspace

  • 2017-09-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuanian officials have denied giving permission to Russian military aircraft last week to enter the country's airspace to avoid adverse weather conditions.

The state-owned air navigation service provider Oro Navigacija (Air Navigation) told BNS on Tuesday that the Russian aircraft had not been given permission "by the Regional Air Traffic Control Center to bypass a zone of dangerous meteorological phenomena by entering Lithuanian airspace over Lithuania's territorial waters".

Meanwhile, the Russian news agency Interfax quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying on Monday evening that the crews of the Russian aircraft "sent a voice inquiry" to the air traffic control center in Vilnius "for an emergency diversion towards Lithuania's air frontier in order to bypass the thunderstorm front".

"On receiving an appropriate permission from the Lithuanian side, the planes were diverted for a short time and, having bypassed the dangerous area, immediately returned to the primary route," the Russian ministry said.