Four Russian Jets Violate Swedish Airspace
SWEDEN - The Swedish armed forces have announced that four Russian jets have violated Swedish airspace over the Baltic Sea. Two Russian SU-27 jets and two Russian SU-24 jets were involved in the violation. The Swedish defense minister has called the violation 'unacceptable'.
The violation of airspace by Russian jets occurred on March 2nd. The Swedish air force reportedly responded with an operation with JAS 39 Gripen aircraft of the rapid readiness unit which documented the incident and took photographs of the intrusion.
The Swedish armed forces put out a statement saying "The Russian violation of Swedish airspace is of course completely unacceptable. It will lead to a firm diplomatic response from Sweden. Swedish sovereignty and territory must always be respected."
The Swedish Armed Forces has stated that the situation is under control and said that the incident proved that their preparedness and readiness is good.
Swedish Air Force Commander Carl-Johan Edström said "This demonstrates that our readiness is good. We were on site to secure the territorial integrity and Sweden's borders. We have complete control of the situation".
"With the current situation as backdrop, we take this incident very seriously. Russia's conduct is unprofessional and irresponsible" Edström added.
"In light of the current situation we are very concerned about the incident. This is unprofessional and irresponsible behavior from the Russian side".
While Sweden has long contemplated joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Sweden is not currently a NATO member and it shares a border with Russia in the Arctic Circle.
Recently, Russia had warned Sweden that there would be 'military consequences' if it joined the NATO alliance. Russia does not want any nations that share a border with it to join the alliance due to the fact that it would give NATO the ability to deploy missiles next to Russia's own borders.