Finland’s airspace was violated by a Russian army helicopter in an apparent attempt to intimidate the country as it prepares to join NATO.
According to Finland’s Ministry of Defense, a military Mi-17 cargo chopper flew 2-3 miles inside the country’s border after 10.30 a.m. (7.30 a.m. GMT) this morning.
‘The aircraft is a Mi-17 helicopter, and the potential violation is roughly four to five kilometers deep,’ according to a ministry spokesman.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland has stepped up its efforts to join the Western defensive alliance, inflaming Russian rage.
Sweden is preparing to join NATO as yet another historically neutral new member.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, public opinion in both countries has shifted in favor of joining.
Putin has threatened ‘consequences’ and stated that in reprisal, he will transfer Russian nuclear weapons to the Baltic Sea.
Last month, a Russian legislator warned that Finland would be requesting “the destruction of their country.”
Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov has described the decision as a “terrible tragedy.”
On April 8, Russia violated Finnish airspace for the first time this year.
The announcement came as a Finnish nuclear company announced that it had terminated a deal with Rosatom, the Russian state-owned energy company, for the delivery of a power station.
The crisis in Ukraine, according to Fennovoima, has ‘worsened the risks for the project,’ which was expected to create roughly 10% of Finland’s electorate.
In recent days, Moscow forces have flown into Swedish and Danish airspace, forcing Denmark’s Foreign Minister to call Russia’s ambassador in Copenhagen.
‘Another Russian breach of Danish airspace,’ Jeppe Kofod tweeted on May 1. In the current situation, that is utterly inappropriate and extremely concerning.’
Experts have stated that if Finland and Sweden decide to join NATO as a deterrence against invasion from their eastern neighbor, they will almost certainly be susceptible to Russian manipulation.