MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) — Poland’s refusal to let the Russian Defense Minister’s plane fly in its airspace violates international norms and will not be left unanswered, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.
"Such actions can only be described as a blatant violation of international norms and the diplomatic code of ethics," the ministry said. "It is absolutely evident that such actions by Warsaw will entail an appropriate response from Russia."
Earlier in the day, Poland blocked a plane carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu from crossing its airspace. The plane had to turn around and land in Slovakia. It took off from Bratislava after Poland finally allowed the flyover, Slovakia’s Interior Ministry spokesman Ivan Netik said.
Shoigu was returning from the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Slovakian national uprising that took place in the town of Banska Bystrica.
Poland's armed forces spokesman, Lt. Col. Piotr Walatek, told RIA Novosti that the flyover incident was due to pilots' mistake. The Russian flight had a civilian status when it left Moscow, while a military flyover can only take place if the aviation authorities are informed no later than 72 hours before the flight.
Poland’s state air navigation services agency also said it barred the plane from entering Poland’s airspace because the Russian authorities had requested the passage of a civilian jet, not a military one. The agency added that the plane could only be allowed to fly over Poland if the flight status is changed to "non-military."