Sweden confirms Russian fighter jets breaching its airspace

Sweden confirms Russian fighter jets breaching its airspace
Sweden confirms Russian fighter jets breaching its airspace

The Swedish armed forces said, on Wednesday, that four Russian fighters entered Swedish airspace east of the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

Although Russian breaches of Scandinavian airspace occur fairly frequently, Wednesday's event comes in a tense context in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Given the current situation, we are taking the incident very seriously, Swedish Air Force Commander Karl Johan Edstrom said in a statement.

According to the statement, the violation was brief, but the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen quickly documented and photographed two Su-24 and two Su-27 combat aircraft.

Sweden reinstated mandatory military service in 2017 and opened its garrison on the Baltic island of Gotland in January 2018.

In October 2020, the government increased defense spending by 40 percent by adding 27 billion Swedish kronor (equivalent to $2.8 billion) to the defense budget from 2021 to 2025.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersen announced on Tuesday that her government intends to boost the country's military capabilities due to the high general threat level.

 Sweden's defense capabilities must be strengthened, the pace of rearmament must be accelerated the Prime Minister said in a televised speech.

Sweden must have strong defensive capabilities she added, noting that the country would engage in talks in order to provide additional resources.

Sweden is not a member of NATO, but it cooperates closely with the alliance.

But, as in neighboring Finland, in recent weeks the debate over membership in NATO has regained momentum.

A poll conducted by the official  SVT  station on Friday showed that popular support for Sweden's inclusion in NATO reached its highest level, recording 41 percent.


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