Russian minister banned from flying over Poland

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Russian minister banned from flying over Poland

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A plane carrying Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was forced to return to Slovakia on Friday after Poland refused permission to fly over its airspace.

Warsaw officials said his jet had been changed from civilian to military status following the outward journey from Moscow.

They insisted it was changed back before attempting the flyover again.

Ukraine had already refused permission for the aircraft to use its airspace.

Shoigu was in Bratislava to mark the 70th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising, a rebellion against Nazi occupation and a collaborationist government in the Slovak state.

Poland has been one of the countries most critical of Russia’s actions in the Ukraine crisis, accusing it of aggression against its neighbour.

Russia described Poland’s action as a “crude violation of the norms and ethics of inter-state conduct”.