MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday it approved of Lithuania's decision to allow Valery Troyanov, the pilot of the Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter that crashed in Lithuania, to return home, and expected Lithuanian authorities to return the wreckage in the near future.
However, the ministry regretted that Lithuania's investigation into the incident, "which were obvious to any unprejudiced expert from the very beginning," had taken such a long time.
Russia told Lithuania on the day of the crash that the Su-27 had crossed into Lithuanian airspace because of the failure of navigation equipment, the ministry said.
On October 6, the Lithuanian Prosecutor's Office abandoned legal proceedings against Major Troyanov and released him from house arrest.
"These events again confirm the need to take special measures to ensure trust and cooperation" between Russian and NATO countries in the Baltic region, which Russia has proposed several times, the ministry said, citing plans for a Russia-NATO airspace monitoring system, which could counter potential terrorist threats from the air.