MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – Switzerland barred a famous Russian aerobatics display team from taking part in the upcoming air show in Payerne, its Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Even in times of crisis it is important to maintain contacts. Nevertheless, military contacts are of a special nature and in the present circumstances it would be preferable to show restraint," the ministry was cited by Reuters as saying.
The Russian Air Force stunt team, called “Russian Knights,” was due to travel to Switzerland end August to participate in the air show near Lake Neuchatel, but the Swiss Defense Ministry said it was “exercising restraint in the area of military contacts with Russia.”
The Swiss Air force is celebrating its centennial jubilee in 2014, and the air show Air14 Payerne will undoubtedly be its climax, with a display by the Russian Knights formerly advertised as a must-see.
A neutral nation, Switzerland is not part of the European Union, and it has not joined Brussels in upholding US-led sanctions against Russia over Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict. But as a member of the 28-nation bloc’s open-border Schengen zone, some of restrictions still apply there.