US planes violate Finnish airspace

A U.S. military C-17 aircraft taxis at Geneva airport at Geneva Airport, Switzerland, Monday, June 1, 2015. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
A U.S. military C-17 aircraft taxis at Geneva airport at Geneva Airport, Switzerland, Monday, June 1, 2015. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
This marks the second encroachment of the year following an incursion by a Russian aircraft in June, says the Defence Ministry.

Two American C-17 military transport planes are suspected of violating Finnish airspace on Sunday evening, the Ministry of Defence says.

The apparent violation took place south of the maritime province of Åland around 5 pm Sunday. It lasted around 15 minutes, Defence Ministry communications director Max Arhippainen told Yle on Sunday evening.

“Around five o’clock, two US transport aircraft violated Finnish airspace for about a quarter of an hour. They were C-17 aircraft,” he said.

Border Guard investigating

According to the ministry, the American planes were flying westward. Arhippainen said that the Border Guard is investigating the incident.

“We’ll decide on follow-up measures based on their conclusions,” he added. The ministry issued a statement about the incident around 9 pm.

“Usually we study quite carefully what has happened before we make an announcement, and confirm the news,” Arhippainen noted.

He said that this was the second suspected violation of Finland’s airspace this year.

“After Midsummer [in late June], a Russian plane crossed briefly into Finnish territory. This was the second violation this year,” said Arhippainen.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  (VIDEO) Canadian Rangers – The Watchers, Radio Canada International

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  Finland confirms 6th Russian airspace violation in just over a year, Yle News

Norway:  Norwegian flies into aviation dispute with Russia, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Russian bombers flew towards Sweden, Radio Sweden

Russia: Barents Russia gets new missile radars, Barents Observer

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