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Sweden intercepts Russian jet in first airspace violation since joining NATO

The last such incident happened in 2022. The Swedish Armed Forces condemned Russia’s “unacceptable” behavior
Sweden intercepts Russian jet in first airspace violation since joining NATO

Sweden’s Air Force spotted and intercepted a Russian Su-24 bomber that briefly violated Swedish airspace east of the southern tip of Gotland island on the evening of 14 June, marking the first such incursion since Sweden joined NATO.

The incident, which follows similar violations of Finland’s airspace, underscores the heightened tensions between Russia and NATO member states in the wake of the ongoing war in Ukraine

The Russian aircraft did not respond to warnings from the Swedish side, prompting two Swedish Jas-39 Gripen fighter jets to escort the Su-24 out of the country’s airspace.

“Russia’s behavior is unacceptable and shows a lack of respect for our territorial integrity. We monitored the entire course of events and were on site to intervene,” said Commander of the Swedish Air Force Jonas Vikman, as quoted in the press release by the Swedish Armed Forces.

The incident comes just days after Finland, which joined NATO alongside Sweden following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, reported similar unauthorized flights by Russian fighter jets near its borders.

The Swedish Armed Forces noted that the last such violations of Swedish airspace by Russian Su-27 and Su-24 aircraft occurred in 2022, prior to the country’s NATO membership, also over Gotland.

Earlier reports indicated a 20-25% increase in NATO fighter jet scrambles to intercept Russian planes approaching Alliance airspace over the Baltic Sea region in the first quarter of 2024.

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