Finland Accuses Russia of Airspace Violation

Russia said the two planes, a Tu-22 and Su-27, were flying a combat training mission

From RIA Novosti:  Two Russian military aircraft are suspected of having violated Finland’s airspace, the Finnish Defense Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

The incident took place Tuesday morning over the Gulf of Finland, the ministry said on its website.

The report did not identify the Russian aircraft, saying only that F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets of the Finnish Air Force were dispatched in order to identify the invaders.

From Moscow Times:  The incident comes days after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned NATO against expanding to include Finland and Sweden, saying it would upset the balance of power and force Russia to respond. The two nations are currently negotiating the possibility of joining the alliance. . . .

Russia said the two planes, a Tu-22 and Su-27, from the Western Military District, were flying on a combat training mission and didn’t cross the country’s border, which can be confirmed by "materials of objective control," regional military spokesman Vladimir Drobyshevsky told Interfax.

On May 13, Finland made similar accusations against Russia, though Russia denied them, saying Finnish air controllers gave permission for its war plane to approach the Finnish border at a distance of 15 kilometers because of bad weather conditions and that the plane stayed over a neutral area of the Gulf of Finland.  (photo: Chris/UK Airshow Review)  (via Edward Lucas)

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