Finland is angry at Russia for the continuous violations of its airspace by Russian military airplanes. Russia has increased the frequency to such level that the incidents are systematic, the Finnish Minister of Defence Carl Haglund feels.
“The explanations we get are beginning to become too many and shows there is a degree of intentionality in the small violations when Russian planes illegally enter and turn into our airspace”, Mr. Haglund was quoted by the Finnish national broadcast company Yle.
The latest intrusion was on Thursday 28 August, with a Russian AN-72 entering Finnish airspace near Porvoo (aka Borgå), only 19 miles (30 km) east of the outskirts of the Finnish capital of Helsinki where one of the Finnish main oil harbours is. Hanko (Hangö) 68 miles (110 km) west of Helsinki is another popular spot where Russian transport planes show up.
The Fins sometimes sent up one or two of their 62 McDonnell Douglas F-18C/D fighter jets to intercept and identify the incoming planes. When NATO jets deployed for the Baltic Air Policing mission have scrambled from Ämari in Estonia or Šiauliai in Lithuania, are already shadowing the Russian aircraft, the Finnish Hornets usually stay on the ground.
Deal with NATO
Finland and Sweden signed or will sign a deal this week with NATO, to make it easier for aircraft and troops of the Western military alliance to be based or operate out of the two Scandinavian states. The agreement has clearly been made in light of Russia’s aggressive moves towards Ukraine and its display of military force close to the Nordic and Baltic borders since February this year.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger