Finland won’t summon Russian ambassador over military flights

Unlike Sweden and Denmark, Finland will not summon the Russian ambassador over incidents last week in which civilian aircraft had to be directed away from Russian military planes which had apparently turned off their transponders.

Tupolev Tu-22M. Image: Puolustusvoimat

The Finnish Foreign Ministry has said it will not summon the Russian ambassador to discuss recent incidents over the Baltic involving Russian military planes.

Denmark and Sweden have both taken that step to protest to Moscow over incidents in which Russian planes with transponders switched off flew close to civilian aircraft.

On Friday, an SAS plane off the island of Bornholm suffered a near-miss, while on Wednesday Finnish air traffic controllers had to direct civilian pilots to take evasive action.

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said that Finland does not yet have confirmation that the Russian planes had turned off their transponders while flying in civilian airspace.

There have been at least five violations of Finnish airspace by Russian military planes since May.