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    Russian Air Force says military fighters no threat to airliner

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    A Russian Air Force official said on Saturday that military aircraft flying near to a passenger airliner in northwest Russia had not posed any threat to the civilian plane.

    MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Air Force official said on Saturday that military aircraft flying near to a passenger airliner in northwest Russia had not posed any threat to the civilian plane.

    Associated Press cited a spokesperson for the Finnair airline earlier as saying that two Russian fighter jets had been spotted following one of its aircraft, which was carrying Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, as it flew through Russian air space on Wednesday.

    Vladimir Drik, an acting aide to the Air Force commander, said the military flights were routine flights which were monitored by radar systems. "At 20:51 Moscow time, a passenger airliner passed some dozen kilometers away from the flight zone. Flight safety was not affected," he said.

    Taneli Hassinen, a spokesman for the Finnish company, said that a passenger on board the civilian plane had spotted the two aircraft tailing the aircraft for a few minutes as it flew over Russia en route from Helsinki to Seoul.

    Finnish aviation officials said Russia should have advised Finnair of the military flights.

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