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Moscow denies aircraft 'approached' Canadian warship

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, pictured during a press conference in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq, on September 4, 2014The Russian defence ministry said on Tuesday that its planes had not approached a Canadian frigate on a NATO mission in the Black Sea in an incident Ottawa denounced as “unnecessarily provocative”. Moscow said an Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft and an Antonov An-26 transport plane were carrying out “planned flights over neutral waters of the Black Sea near the Russian Federation’s state border”. “The flightpath of the planes of the Russian airforce ran through an area where the HMCS Toronto was located, without approaching the foreign military vessel,” Major General Konashenkov told Russian news agencies. Canadian Defense Minister Rob Nicholson said on Monday that a Russian military plane had circled over the HMCS Toronto, a Canadian frigate in the Black Sea, where NATO and Ukraine are holding naval exercises.

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