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Romania blocks Russian deputy PM from entering EU airspace

AP , Friday 28 Jul 2017
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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin had to scrap a trip to Moldova on Friday after his plane was barred from entering Romanian and Hungarian airspace.

Rogozin said, in comments to Russian news agencies, that he and other Russian officials were traveling on a commercial flight to the Moldovan capital of Chisinau when the plane was denied passage over Romania or Hungary, both EU members. It had to land in the Belarusian capital of Minsk because it was running out of fuel.

The deputy prime minister is one of the most senior Russian officials slapped with an EU visa ban in 2014 following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Rogozin told the Interfax news agency that he started using commercial flights after Romanian authorities closed their airspace to his chartered flight in 2014.

Romania's foreign ministry confirmed on Friday that authorities had not allowed Rogozin to enter Romanian airspace.

In an emotional tweet later Friday, Rogozin said the Romanian authorities "put lives of the passengers, women and children at risk" by forcing the plane to divert. He issued a warning for the Romanian government: "You wait for an answer, bastards!"

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