Russia has apologized to France for summoning the French ambassador after a Russian plane was allegedly approached by a French fighter jet.
After the verification of the incident, France has said that the Russian aircraft was approached by a Swiss Air Force fighter jet, not by one belonging to the French Air Force. A Russian delegation led by State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin was traveling in the Russian jet.
Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the Russian plane was “dangerously approached” by the other aircraft. She acknowledged that the French ambassador to Russia had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry as it was suspected to be a French fighter jet involved in the incident.
Zakharova said the Russian foreign ministry extended its apologies to its French counterpart. "After that apologies were extended to the French side through diplomatic channels, and the Russian Foreign Ministry began working with the Swiss side… We are waiting for a formal reply from the Swiss side," Russian News Agency TASS quoted Zakharova as saying.
After having been accused of dangerously approaching the Russian aircraft, French authorities denied such a claim. The French foreign ministry immediately claimed the aircraft that had approached the Russian jet belonged to Swiss authorities.
Putin went to Paris earlier in October to participate in talks over the Ukraine conflict. German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande were also present during the talks.
“It was underlined that such actions by Paris undermine the possibility of using France as a venue for conducting international meetings and talks,” The Guardian quoted the Russian foreign ministry as linking the plane incident to the Ukraine talks.