Russia Slams Bulgaria’s Denial Of Airspace

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Russia has slammed Bulgaria over its refusal to allow Russian cargo planes bound for Syria to fly over its territory.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister argues that both Greece and Bulgaria made their moves under pressure from Washington

Press TV reports: Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Tuesday that the two countries should provide explanations on the case, although Greece has yet to officially refuse Russian flights over its territory.

“If anyone – in this case our Greek and Bulgarian partners – has any doubts, then they of course should explain what the problem is all about,” Bogdanov told the Interfax, adding that Bulgaria’s decision “raises a question about its sovereign right to make decisions about planes crossing its airspace.”

The Russian diplomat argued that the move has come under pressure from Washington.

Other officials in Moscow warned Bulgaria that it should expect a proper response from Russia, with Nikolay Levichev, a vice speaker at the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) saying the “unfriendly move” will not go unnoticed.

“The Bulgarian leadership which made that decision – whatever the reasons behind it could be – has joined the camp of adversaries of the existing system of international relations,” he said, adding, “Closing access to its airspace to planes with relief cargoes for the war-torn Syria is an inhumane and clearly short-sighted act.”

The senior Russian legislator further slammed the US sanctions on countries like Russia, Iran and Syria, saying the three countries are the only custodians of principles of humanitarianism in the modern world.

“Damascus opposes radicals from the IS (Daesh); Moscow is sending aid to Damascus and Tehran is ready to open an air corridor to Russian planes,” Levichev said, accusing the US of keeping silent.

He also lashed out at Bulgaria for what it called the short memory of the government in Sofia.

“It was Russia that liberated Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke in the 19th century and contributed to the creation of the Bulgarian statehood… the Russian memory is good,” Levichev said.