Russian aircraft at least 10 times intruded into the airspace of Bulgaria in June. Interfax agency reports this referring to the statement by the Minister of Defense Nikolay Nenchov broadcasted by Bulgarian television.
He called these facts "the provocation, which purpose is unclear". "This is a major concern, we take preventive measures, our fighters are ready to intercept", said the Minister.
Nenchov said he did not know an official explanation from Moscow, since, according to him, the negotiations on this subject were conducted through diplomatic channels.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that "the Russian aircraft really conduct planned regular flights over the Black Sea. Their flight routes lie in strict compliance with the international regulations on the use of airspace over neutral waters. All flights, including those in June, were carried out with only enabled transponders ", the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov stated.
According to him, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation "with undisguised amazement" learned from the speech of the Bulgarian Minister of Defense of the allegedly increasing violations last month in some "zone of responsibility of the Bulgarian NATO airspace" by Russian military aircraft with transponders turned off.
"First of all, I would like the explanations by the minister, how far away is the air space of NATO responsibility from the air borders of Bulgaria", added Konashenkov.