"We had no right not to let the aircraft into the Ukrainian airspace… Claims that the enterprise acted against Ukraine’s [interests] or, as they say on social media, ‘betrayed’ it, are absolutely baseless", spokesman Ruslan Danyliv told the Obozrevatel news website.
He argued that air controllers followed international guidelines regulating this kind of emergencies. Ukraine would have been responsible for any accident that could have happened to the aircraft if it had tried to get around the storm cloud without entering the country's airspace.
Russia’s Globus airline flight was given permission to briefly enter the Ukrainian airspace on 7 August, prompting a public outcry.
Ukraine has closed its airspace for Russian passenger and cargo aircraft since 25 October 2015. Russia also introduced reciprocal measures against Ukrainian airlines. The ban will remain in force until Ukraine cancels its ruling on Russian airlines.