Denmark and Sweden are summoning Russia’s ambassadors to their countries after a Russian spy plane violated their airspace.
Authorities from both Denmark and Sweden reported that the Russian plane entered Danish airspace on Friday evening east of the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm then entered Swedish airspace.
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said Russia’s ambassador to Denmark has been summoned over the spy plane incident, which he slammed as “unacceptable”.
“There exist established procedures for this kind of case. It concerns notably summoning the representative of the implicated nation to the foreign ministry,” it said in an email.
“The Russian ambassador is summoned to the foreign ministry tomorrow,” Kofod tweeted on Sunday.
“A new Russian violation of Danish airspace. This is totally unacceptable and particularly worrying in the current situation,” he said.
The Swedish foreign ministry also said the Russian ambassador would be summoned in Stockholm.
“There exist established procedures for this kind of case. It concerns notably summoning the representative of the implicated nation to the foreign ministry,” Sweden’s ministry said in an email.
The airspace violation triggered swift reactions in Sweden, where Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told local media that such action was “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” considering heightened tensions in the region due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Swedish defence ministry said in a statement that the incursion by the “Russian AN-30 propeller plane” was monitored and recorded.
In early March, four Russian fighter jets penetrated the airspace over Sweden.
Henrik Mortensen, a Danish Defence Command press officer, said the Russian reconnaissance plane was in Danish airspace “for a very brief moment. Two Danish F-16 immediately intervened”. He said such incidents are rare.
Since Moscow launched its land, sea and air offensive against Ukraine on February 24, Nordic countries such as Sweden and Finland have been reviewing their long-standing military neutrality and are considering joining NATO.
The two countries are expected to announce their plan to apply for NATO membership in mid-May – a move strongly encouraged by the United States, according to sources. Moscow has repeatedly warned the European Union’s two northernmost states against such a decision.
Denmark is already a member of the Western military alliance.