Switzerland regrets 'shock' caused after its military aircraft approached Russian plane

© Michael Buholzer
Switzerland has expressed regret over any “shock” caused by a military plane that flew close to a Russian aircraft, but says the approach was a normal procedure. It comes after the Russian Foreign Ministry requested an explanation for the incident.

"We expressed our regrets as far as some individuals could have been shocked by the passage of a plane,” Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jean-Marc Crevoisier told RT France.

However, he stated that the procedure was a completely normal one, and that the situation has been explained to Moscow.

“Our procedures are like that, I mean the air control...there was just an aircraft that flew next to another aircraft for some seconds. We accomplished the necessary procedures and we explained this to the Russians and we had a meeting afterward,” Crevoisier said.

“If anyone from those aboard the plane experienced anxiety or shock, we regret it,” he said, adding that the incident is now “resolved.”

It comes after the Swiss Foreign Ministry previously stated that there was not a “dangerous proximity” between the two aircraft, RIA Novosti reported.

In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry has called on Bern to “refrain from such risky incidents and not call into question the country's reputation as a venue for major international events.”

The incident occurred on Monday, when a Russian plane carrying a parliamentary delegation was approached by a Swiss military jet.

The aircraft was initially believed to be a French plane, which led to Moscow summoning the French ambassador to Russia's Foreign Ministry. However, it was later determined that the plane was Swiss, and an apology was issued to France by Moscow.

On Tuesday, Russia's Foreign Minister expressed concern to Swiss Ambassador to Moscow Pierre Helg over the incident.

"Resolute protest was presented to the Swiss diplomat over the ‘air police’ control of the Russian civil plane by the Swiss Air Force, of which the Russian side was not informed in advance," the ministry said in a statement.

"Attempts made by some Swiss officials to present the incident as a routine control procedure or as ‘escorting the Russian plane as a manifestation of hospitality’ for the Russian parliament look unconvincing. In any case, such steps should be agreed in advance,” the ministry added.

Led by the speaker of the Russian State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, the delegation was traveling to Geneva to take part in the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.