Russian helicopter violates Estonian airspace in Koidula region
On Tuesday evening, a Mil Mi-8 helicopter crossed from Russian airspace into Estonian airspace near Koidula border checkpoint unauthorized, the Headquarters of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) said Wednedsay.
The helicopter had not filed a flight plan and had its transponder turned off at the time, the EDF said in a press release. It also lacked two-way radio communication with Estonian air traffic services (ATS).
The Mi-8 helicopter remained within Estonian airspace for nearly one minute.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Russian Ambassador Vladimir Lipaev on Wednesday to protest the incident and present the ambassador with a diplomatic note regarding the violation.
"Estonia considers this an extremely serious and regrettable incident that is completely unacceptable," the ministry said.
At the meeting, the Estonian ministry also once again strongly condemned Russia's continued aggression in Ukraine, and emphasized that Russia must respect states' sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as international law.
Third violation this year, second this summer
Tuesday's airspace violation by Russia marked the third in Estonia this year.
Previously, a Mil Mi-8 helicopter belonging to the Russian Border Guard violated Estonian airspace on the night of June 18, likewise in the Koidula region of Southeastern Estonia, where it remained for approximately two minutes, the Ministry of Defense reported.
Last year, Russian Federation aircraft violated Estonian airspace on five occasions.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla