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Finland accuses Russia of probing its airspace, bomber flies south to Bilbao

Finland accuses Russia of probing its airspace, bomber flies south to Bilbao
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Finnish border guard services are investigating two suspected airspace incursions by Russian fighter-bombers.

Sukhoi fighters reportedly crossed the Finnish border south of Porvoo. Finnish Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö said two such incursions in one day was “exceptional”, especially from fighter jets.

“The suspected breaches of airspace – it is impossible for me to estimate on the motives. In the media a temporal link-up has been made with the visit of the United States Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert Work. All I can say is that there is a temporal linkage but I have no knowledge of the motives and this is, naturally, a matter which the Foreign Ministry will piece together from the Russian side,” said Niinistö.

Russia has denied any incursion into Finnish airspace.

The Russian airforce has been probing NATO air defences for months since relations deteriorated over Ukraine and Crimea, and in September another long-range Tupolev 160 bomber flew down to near Bilbao in Spain, testing the Atlantic’s western approaches , before flying home. T160s have also tested Britain’s east coast, and flown around the top of Scotland in recent months.