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Bulgaria opens airspace to Syria-bound Russian plane with diplomats onboard

Bulgaria opened its airspace to a Russian plane, which was flying diplomats to Syria, on September 7, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

"The Russian side declared the transportation of Russian diplomats as the flight's purpose. The Foreign Ministry had no grounds for refusal. It issued permission after consultations with the competent bodies," the ministry's statement said.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry stressed that the September 7 decision to open airspace to the Russian plane had nothing to do with Bulgaria's decision to deny access to its airspace to Russian military transport planes bound for Syria.

"We denied permission to Russian military transport planes to fly via Bulgarian airspace because we have enough information that makes us have serious doubts about the cargo onboard which may vary from what it has been declared," the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday adding that the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry had made its decision absolutely independently without any external pressure.

[Source: Itar Tass, Sofia, 09Sep15]

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