on Saturday 15 June, 2024

Swedish airspace violated by Russian military jet on Friday, armed forces say

Russian military landing vessels are seen from a plane as they enter the Baltic Sea. (File photo: Reuters)
by : Reuters

A Russian military aircraft was met by Swedish fighter jets after it briefly violated Sweden’s airspace east of the Baltic island of Gotland on Friday, the Nordic country’s armed forces said on Saturday.

Two Gripen jets were sent up to meet the Russian plane, an SU-24, after it failed to respond to a radio warning by Sweden’s military air traffic control, the Swedish armed forces said in a statement.

“The Russian actions are not acceptable and show a lack of respect for our territorial integrity,” Swedish air force chief Jonas Wikman said. “We followed the entire chain of events and were in place to intervene.”

Friday’s incident took place as Sweden - NATO’s newest member - and several of its new allies take part in naval exercises in the Baltic Sea.

The Swedish military said similar airspace violations by Russian aircraft last occurred in 2022 when two SU-27 and two SU-24 planes also made incursions near Gotland.

Sweden’s neighbor Finland said separately on Friday it suspected that four Russian military planes had violated its airspace on June 10.