26 Feb 2022 17:49

Sweden, Finland close their airspace to plane carrying Duma Chairman Volodin from Cuba

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) - An aircraft belonging to the Rossiya special air unit and carrying an official delegation of the Russian State Duma led by its chairman, Vyacheslav Volodin, to Russia from Cuba did not receive permission to fly over Sweden and Finland.

"The route had been cleared beforehand, but the European countries refused to allow our flight. This happened when we were about to enter Sweden's airspace. The captain decided to fly around the forbidden zone from the north," Volodin wrote on Telegram on Saturday.

The plane had enough fuel after having been refueled during a stopover in Havana on its way from Nicaragua to Moscow, he said.

"This kept us safe in a situation that took place later. There was enough fuel. Thanks to the pilots who made this decision. Because the flight time increased by two and a half hours. The entire flight took more than 17 hours," he said.

Everyone on board took the situation with understanding, he said.

"We've been living in these realities for a long time. Since 2014, I've been under various sanctions of many countries, from the U.S. to Australia. I've never had and don't have real estate or accounts abroad. Thanks to everyone who was worried and are offering words of support," Volodin said.

Entering Russian airspace from the Murmansk side, the plane then safely landed at the Vnukovo-2 airport.