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Swiss Say Military Jet Carries Out Routine Check Of Russian Plane

The Swiss military says one of its fighter jets carried out a routine identification check on a Russian plane inside Swiss air space, triggering a complaint from Moscow.

Russia had first accused a French military jet of coming into "dangerous proximity" with the Tupolev, which was carrying State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin and other Russian lawmakers to an international meeting of parliamentarians in Geneva, Switzerland.

Moscow called in the French ambassador to protest over the incident, which occurred earlier on October 19.

But later the same day, a Swiss Department of Defense spokesman confirmed that the fighter was a Swiss F/A 18 jet that had been sent to verify the identity of the Russian plane with diplomatic clearance.

Spokesman Peter Minder said the Swiss jet flew close enough to make visual contact with the Russian pilot, but there was no danger of a collision.

There has been an increase in the number of near-miss type incidents involving NATO and Russian military aircraft since the Ukraine conflict caused a rise in tensions.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa

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