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Russian plane detected violating Swedish airspace
RussianAF An 30

A Russian reconnaissance plane was detected violating Sweden’s airspace on Friday, the Swedish General Staff said, as the Scandinavian country considers joining NATO.

In a statement, the Swedish Defense Department revealed that a Russian AN-30 aircraft “violated Swedish airspace on Friday night” and that the aircraft was accompanied and photographed by authorities.

“The plane was east of Bornholm (a Danish island in the Baltic Sea) and then headed towards Swedish territory,” the statement detailed.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist denounced the Russian action. “It is totally unacceptable for Swedish airspace to be violated. This action is unprofessional and, given the overall security situation, highly inappropriate. Swedish sovereignty must always be respected,” Hultqvist wrote on public television SVT. “Obviously we are going to protest through diplomatic channels,” he added.

The incident came at a time when Sweden and Finland, the only Nordics not militarily aligned, are considering applying to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In Sweden, political parties are still debating in parliament the possibility of applying for membership and will present a report on the new security policy on 13 May.

Stockholm and Helsinki have considerably increased cooperation and bilateral contacts in recent weeks to try to reach an agreement on a joint position towards NATO and, eventually, request its entry at the same time.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg assured on Thursday that Sweden and Finland will be “received with open arms” if they decide to join the Atlantic Alliance and deplored Russia’s “intimidation and threats” so that the two countries do not join forces. the organization.

By early March, four Russian warplanes had already briefly entered Swedish airspace, east of the Baltic island of Gotland.

Source: with agencies

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