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Russia Accuses Lithuania Of Politicizing Jet Crash

Sergei Ivanov (file photo) 30 September 2005 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has accused Lithuania of politicizing the crash of a Russian fighter jet in the Baltic country earlier this month.

Ivanov was today quoted by Interfax as saying that Moscow has apologized repeatedly for the crash on 15 September of an Su-27 warplane en route from St. Petersburg to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

But he said Vilnius is politicizing the crash -- behavior he called "ridiculous and naive."

The pilot of the jet fighter ejected safely and is in Lithuanian custody pending the conclusion of the investigation.