May 21, 2014 / 6:51 AM / 5 years ago

Finland suspects two Russian aircraft of violating airspace

HELSINKI, May 21 (Reuters) - Finland scrambled jets after it suspected two Russian aircraft of having entered the country’s airspace over the Gulf of Finland without permission, the Nordic state’s defence ministry said on Wednesday.

Finland shares a 1,300-km (800 mile)border with Russia and maintains generally cordial relations with its vast eastern neighbour, but the Ukraine crisis has seen many politicians in the European Union member state toughen their tone towards Moscow.

“The airforce undertook operative identification flights,” a Defence Ministry spokesman said, and added that the border guard was examining data on the possible violations.

The incidents happened within two hours of each other over the Gulf of Finland on Tuesday afternoon.

The ministry said the planes were state aircraft, a term which refers to aircraft used in military, customs and police services. It gave no further detail.

Reporting by Sakari Suoninen

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