Monday 3/8/21
BALTICS

Moscow disputes Estonia airspace violation claim by Russian aircraft

The Foreign Ministry in Tallinn has summoned the Russian ambassador regarding the incident.

Russia, Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference call to mark the opening of new military medical centres for patients infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo: -/Kremlin/dpa
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Kremlin/file photo.

Estonia's airspace was violated by a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 MD aircraft, the army of the EU and NATO member state said on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry in Tallinn has summoned the Russian ambassador regarding the incident and handed over a note, the Estonian military announced on Thursday.

According to the statement, the airspace violation, the first by neighbouring Russia this year, occurred near the Baltic island of Vaindloo early on Wednesday and lasted less than a minute.

The aircraft had its electronic identification switched on, but the pilot did not maintain radio contact with Estonian air traffic control, according to the military statement.

Flight to Kaliningrad

According to state news agency TASS, the Russian Defence Ministry contested the description of events, saying this was a scheduled flight to an airfield in its exclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between EU states Lithuania and Poland.

The aircraft was flying on a "pre-arranged route" and had not violated any state borders, the ministry was cited as saying.

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