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Two Russian planes suspected of breaching Finnish airspace

The Border Guard is investigating two instances of suspected breaches of Finnish airspace by Russian fighter jets south of Porvoo. Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö said that two such breaches in one day are exceptional, especially as the planes involved were fighter jets. Airspace violations by Russia in recent years have been mostly cargo planes.

A picture of one of the jets suspected of breaching Finnish airspace posted by the Defence Forces on Twitter. Image: Puolustusvoimat

The Finnish Air Force and Border Guard suspect two separate Russian SU-27 fighter jets of breaching Finnish airspace on Thursday.

The first alleged breach occurred at 4:43 pm one kilometre within the Finnish border, south of the city of Porvoo, and lasted about one minute over 13 kilometres. The Ministry of Defense announced the news late on Thursday evening.

The second alleged violation occurred at 9:33 pm that same night, and was identified as a separate jet. The Border Guard is investigating the incident.

Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö praised the Finnish air force, which managed to photograph the planes midflight, and said that the foreign ministry will request an explanation from Russia later today.

"All kinds of things can happen, but it is without doubt exceptional that, two airspace breaches within a day have occurred," said Niinistö.

There have been several airspace breaches in recent years, but they have mostly involved cargo planes.

"It's been several years since a fighter jet breached Finnish airspace," said Niinistö.

Russia's Defence Ministry has denied the first intrusion into Finnish airspace, although the Finnish Defence Forces had posted a picture of the plane (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Twitter.