Russia is demanding an explanation from the Swiss Confederation for the unexpected chase and escort of one of President Vladimir Putin’s presidential airplanes by Swiss fighter jets through that nation’s airspace.
The Daily Mail reported this week that, during a flyover of Switzerland, one of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s personal presidential planes was first chased, then escorted by three Swiss jet fighters until they reached and exited the border of Swiss airspace.
Andrey Kolesnikov, editor-in-chief of the magazine Russian Pioneer and a witness to the incident, wrote on Facebook, “We’re flying above Switzerland. At some point, the plane with the delegation and the journalists is being blocked from three sides by three fighter jets.”
The Russian airplane was loaded with journalists on their way to the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Peru. One of the plane’s passengers took a video which shows a military jet fighter flying by the aircraft’s side that carried Swiss air force markings.
Kolesnikov also wrote that the Swiss jet fighter flew so close he could actually see the faces of the pilots. He added that a potential crash could have occurred if the fighter had come any closer.
Although it was feared that the Russian airplane might be forced to make an unscheduled landing, it was allowed to cross unabated to the Swiss border, where the jet fighters left the aircraft to continue its journey to Peru.
According to The Sun, the Russian embassy in Switzerland, has demanded an official explanation for the chase and escort of the Russian president’s plane. “(We) have expressed surprise and asked for explanations from Switzerland over the incident with the Russian government plane in the sky of the Confederation,” the embassy wrote.
The incident over Switzerland is just the latest in a series of events that have added to, as The Sun described it, “World War III fears” in Europe. These include a growing Russian military presence in eastern Europe (and as reported by the Inquisitr, has prompted a NATO military troop upgrade in turn), the alliance it shares with Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad, and the troublesome actions — militarily and diplomatically — it has taken concerning nuclear weapons.
Still, it should be noted that the rising tensions in Europe deal primarily with Russia on one side and members of the mutual defense alliance NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) on the other. Switzerland, as has been its status for hundreds of years, is neutral and remains uninvolved in any military organization. However, the land-locked nation maintains a standing military force to protect its national interests.
It is as yet unclear if Putin’s presidential airplane may have violated some protocol as it entered Swiss airspace, thus generating the response of an escort of Swiss jet fighters until it exited its airspace.
What is clear is that Russia continues to ramp up its military capabilities. The Daily Mail reported that the Kremlin announced on Friday that it had successfully tested a supersonic missile to add to its increasingly modernized arsenal. The new missile, the Object 4202, can travel thousands of miles and moves so quickly that it is nearly impossible to detect. Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation claimed the Object 4202 could carry a payload that would make the Hiroshima nuclear bombs look like “popguns.”
Such boasts concerning capability have done nothing to alleviate fears in Europe of Russia’s intentions. The threat of an imminent Russian invasion that starts in eastern Europe has become the dominant prompt behind the rise in military preparedness, not to mention, according to an Inquisitr report, the establishment of national defense forces and militias. Matters have not been helped as military leaders and experts continue to point out Russia’s military superiority and the likelihood that nations like Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia could be invaded and occupied in a very short time should Russia decide to expand its borders westward.
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