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Finland calls to discuss air security over alleged activity of Russian warplanes

December 15, 2014, 8:10 UTC+3 HELSINKI
Finland’s Minister of Transport said air security issues should be raised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
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RC-135 surveillance aircraft

RC-135 surveillance aircraft

© EPA/HITOSHI MAESHIRO

HELSINKI, December 14. /TASS/. Finland’s Minister of Transport Paula Risikko has called to discuss issues of air security in international air space over the allegedly increased activity of Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea, the Finnish News Agency /STT/ said on Sunday.

She said these issues should be raised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with eye of binding all aircraft turn on transponders while in international air space and establish radio contact with one another if need be.

The minister said Finland was managing to avoid dangerous incidents between passenger liners and warplanes thanks to cooperation between the military and civil flight control centers.

Earlier, Finnish Air Force reported “increased activity” of Russian aircraft in this region in the previous weekend and at the beginning of this week, when Finnish civil aircraft had to adjust their routes although Russian planes were of no danger to them.

On Sunday, Finland’s Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said he was worried over more frequent flights by Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. He told Yle Radio Suomi the situation caused worries but admitted that there were no direct threat to his country. He reminded that Finland had no policy towards Russia of its own “in a traditional sense of this word,” since the country was a member of the European Union. “For instance, the central topic in the summer was possible ignoring of the EU sanctions. But it is impossible and dangerous. It is vital for us in the EU to hace a common political line,” the Finnish prime minister stressed.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that Russian warplanes were conducting their exercises in the international air space “ in strict compliance with international norms and practices.” Official speaker of Russia's Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov said there was a NATO RC-135 surveillance aircraft between the passeneger aircraft in question and the Russian warplane.

 

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