MOSCOW -- Russia's Defence Ministry has suggested enacting a law to allow Russian forces to shoot down civilian passenger planes within the country's airspace, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Friday (January 11).
If the proposal becomes law, passenger planes that enter Russian airspace without permission and fail to respond to warning signals or warning shots could be shot down if authorities perceive "a real danger of human deaths or environmental catastrophe". The proposal gives no details on how authorities would recognise such dangerous aircraft.
The proposed law also would compel the Defence Ministry to begin responding to unidentified aircraft when they come within 50km of Russian airspace.
In 1994, Russia enacted a law prohibiting its forces from shooting down civilian planes known to be carrying passengers.