Lithuanian officials have denied giving permission to Russian military aircraft last week to enter the country's airspace to avoid adverse weather conditions.
© RIA / Scanpix

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.

According to Oro Navigacija, six Russian IL-76 transport aircraft maintained contact with air traffic controllers and had their onboard transponders on during their flight from mainland Russia to its Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad late on Saturday.

Four of the planes changed their course because of adverse weather conditions and two of them crossed into Lithuanian airspace, the state-owned company said.

The incident occurred over the Curonian Spit at time of heightened tensions in the region over the ongoing Russia-Belarus military exercise Zapad.

Alexander Udaltsov, Russia's ambassador to Lithuania, on Monday was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and was handed a diplomatic note over the airspace violation,

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanian PM to meet NATO chief over additional support

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is to meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg...

Seimas panel head to propose to raise intelligence body funding by EUR 4 mln - media

Vytautas Bakas , chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense , will propose to...

Fake news on 'NATO plans to attack Belarus' planted on Lithuanian news website - media

A fake news story alleging that NATO is planning to attack Belarus was planted on Kas Vyksta Kaune...

Lithuanian troops to be decorated after Mali deployment

Lithuanian soldiers of the 1st Territorial Unit, Dainava Military District, National Defense Volunteer...

Seimas allows Lithuania to send more troops to international operations

Lithuania will be able send more troops and civilians to international operations in the next two years.