Russian Federation aircraft in Estonian airspace incursion

A Tupolev Tu-154 belonging to the Russian Ministry of Defence.
A Tupolev Tu-154 belonging to the Russian Ministry of Defence. Source: Marina Lystseva/TASS/Scanpix

A Russian Federation aircraft entered Estonian airspace on Friday, the Ministry of Defence reports.

The plane, a Tupolev Tu-154 airliner, in Russian interior ministry service, passed through Estonian airspace off the uninhabited island of Vaindloo in the Gulf of Finland, a common hotspot for such incursions, in the space of about a minute, according to the ministry.

The plane had no functioning transponder on a suitable frequency, had not filed a flight plan in advance, and made no radio contact with Estonian air traffic control, it is reported.

The foreign ministry reportedly summoned the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Estonia, Alexander Petrov, handing them a note concerning the matter.

The incursion is the third of its kind this year.

NATO planes involved in Baltic air policing duties are stationed at Ämari air base, west of Tallinn, though most alliance aircraft scrambling due to incursions tend to be from the Šiauliai base in Lithuania, in response to flights over international waters, close to Lithuanian airspace, as a variety of Russian planes fly to and from the Kaliningrad exclave.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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