Russian fighter jets in Finnish airspace

On June 19, 2024, up to four Russian fighter jets are said to have entered Finnish airspace. As far as is known so far, these are Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3. The aircraft are said to have violated Finnish airspace near the Gulf of Finland. The Finnish Ministry of Defense confirmed to Helsingin Sanomat the incident. The aircraft are said to have penetrated up to 2,5 km into the airspace for two minutes.

Symbolic image: NATO aircraft intercept Russian fighter planes

The Finnish Ministry of Defense is investigating the incident, but has not yet stated whether they intercepted the Russian planes or not. 

The Russian Defense Ministry explains, as always in such cases, that the planes flew over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

This latest intrusion into Finnish airspace further underscores the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Finland. The incident is relevant as it raises concerns about Finland's territorial integrity and the potential impact on its efforts to join NATO, given the ongoing geopolitical dynamics in the region.

So far, the Finnish government has not released an official statement on the potential impact of this incident on its relations with Russia and its NATO aspirations. This incident is part of a series of Russian provocations along the Finnish border, including Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement in December 2023 of the creation of a "Leningrad Military District" on the border.