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Russia denies Dutch claim of airspace violation

IANS November 14, 2014 6:49 IST

Moscow: Moscow on Thursday dismissed a Dutch claim that a Russian transport plane had violated the airspace of Estonia and Lithuania.

The Netherlands said earlier on the day that a Russian four-engine plane has strayed into the airspace of Estonia and Lithuania "without prior notice."

In response, Russia's Defence Ministry said a Russian military transport plane Ilyushin-76 made a routine flight from Pskov to the Kaliningrad Region Wednesday.

The ministry made it clear that the plane had remained in international air space. "The flight passed along an established route over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea in strict accordance with international rules of airspace use," it said in a statement.

The Dutch Defence Ministry, however, said in a statement earlier that two Dutch F-16 jets were ordered into the air from the Polish airbase near the town of Malbork "to escort the Ilyushin out of the Baltic countries' airspace."

"The fighter jets were used for interception for the first time since Sep 3, when they were deployed in Poland," the statement added.

The Dutch Air Force participates in guarding the air space of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia under NATO liabilities. The decision on a temporary deployment in Poland followed strained ties between Russia and Europe over the Ukraine crisis.

Russia has denied several times accusations of violating European countries' airspace as well as maritime belt.