On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, to take part in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting.
Lavrov’s attendance at the gathering remained uncertain until the last minute because of existing restrictions on Russian aircraft flights in European airspace and personal restrictions against the minister.
However, the host countries North Macedonia and Greece opened the airspace while Bulgaria refused because of the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on board.
As a result, the plane had to detour, extending the route to around 4,000 km and prolonging the journey to over five hours.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Zakharova said the Russian minister received many requests for meetings in bilateral and multilateral formats on the sidelines of the OSCE meeting.
Because of Lavrov’s participation, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine are boycotting the event.