MOSCOW – Russia's Defense Ministry has denied Swedish claims that for the second time this year a Russian military aircraft nearly collided with a passenger jet over Sweden.
Swedish officials said the Russian aircraft had turned off its transponders to avoid commercial radar and came dangerously close to colliding with a passenger jet that had taken off from Copenhagen on Friday.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Sunday that the military plane was flying at a safe distance from routes used by civilian flights and was more than 70 kilometers (42 miles) from the passenger jet.
In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, he said a NATO reconnaissance plane also was flying in the same area.
Russia in recent months has increased its military presence in the Baltic Sea area.