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Sweden: Russian military planes briefly violated airspace

January 24, 2019

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Russian reconnaissance plane escorted by two Russian fighter jets briefly violated Sweden’s air space on the country’s Baltic Sea coast, the Swedish military said Thursday.

The IL-20 plane and two Sukhoi Su-27 jets entered Swedish airspace without permission and flew Saturday south of the town of Karlshamn, some 135 kilometers (84 miles) northeast of the coastal city of Malmo, the military said in a statement.

The Russian military said in a statement Thursday that one of its fighters scrambled to escort a plane approaching Russian air space with its transponder switched off.

It said the fighter’s pilot identified the other aircraft as a Gulfstream the Swedish air force uses for intelligence missions. The Russian statement didn’t say when that episode took place.

The incident comes at a time of growing military activity in the Baltic Sea region, with several reports of alleged airspace violations by Russian military aircraft and an increased presence of Russian military vessels.

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