Sweden accuses Russian spy plane of violating airspace

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Sweden accuses Russian spy plane of violating airspace
The Russian propeller plane of the type AN-30 that violated Swedish airspace on April 29, photographed by Swedish fighter planes. Photo credit: Swedish Armed Forces via TT.

A Russian reconnaissance plane briefly violated Sweden's airspace on Friday, Swedish defence officials said on Saturday, as the country considers its bid for NATO membership after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


"A Russian AN-30 propeller plane violated Swedish airspace on Friday evening," the Swedish defence ministry said in a statement, adding that its teams had followed the incident and photographed it.

The ministry said the plane was flying east of Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic, before it headed towards Swedish territory.

"It is totally unacceptable to violate Swedish airspace," SVT quoted Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist as saying.

"This action is unprofessional and given the general security situation, very inappropriate. Swedish sovereignty must always be respected."


Carl-Johan Edström, air force chief, also told SVT  that they had followed the plane for a long time.

"I think it is irresponsible and unprofessional to fly so close to a country's borders with military aircraft. There is no reason to fly so close that you can accidentally enter a country's territory, you may well be 10-15 kilometres from the border, then things like this do not have to happen", Edström said.

At the beginning of March, four Russian fighter jets violated Swedish airspace, when they flew over the sea east of Gotland.

Sweden and Finland have agreed to both announce their intention to join Nato in the week beginning May 16th, newspapers in the two countries have reported.

According to both Iltalehti and Expressen, two tabloid newspapers from Finland and Sweden respectively, Sweden’s government has asked for Finland to delay their announcement so that the two countries can announce their intention to join simultaneously, 

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to Sweden debating Nato membership, overturning the non-aligned security policy which has been at the centre of Social Democrat foreign politics since the 1930s. 



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