Finland Times

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Home NATIONALFinland terms airspace violation serious
Sat, 08 Oct, 2016 12:01:44 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 8

Foreign Minister Timo Soini on Friday said that Finland will take the matter of violation of Finnish airspace by two Russian SU-27 fighter jets on Thursday seriously.

“Finland does not accept territorial violations,” said the minister in a text message to news agency STT.

According to Soini, the matter will be moved forward also through diplomatic channel and that the Russian embassy will be requested to probe into the incidents.

Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö said that Finnish Hornets managed the situation as it was supposed, which is an indication of Finland's readiness at a high level.

Niinistö said that the Finnish fighter jets managed to take photos during the identification flights.

He, however, did not comment where the Hornets conducted identification flights but confirmed that a number of identification flights were carried out in the past 24 hours.

Niinistö emphasised that matters of preparations in principle do not fall within the public domain.

He said that that he views a temporal connection between the suspected airspace violation which happened on the eve before signing of a deepened defence cooperation between the United States and Finland.

“Nevertheless, Finland signed the statement of intent,” Niinistö said.

Two Russian fighter aircraft are suspected to have violated Finnish airspace on Thursday afternoon and late Thursday night.

Niinistö pointed out that it is unusual for a fighter jet to have violated the airspace since previous cases of violations were mainly committed by transport aircrafts.

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