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NATO scrambles fighter jets to intercept Russian aircraft near border with Finland
27 May 2022, 13:43 | Updated: 27 May 2022, 13:46
NATO fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft near the Finnish border with Norway.
Tensions with Russia have been escalating in the area since Finland and Sweden submitted applications to join NATO on May 18.
A Mikoyan MiG-31 'Foxhound' and a Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer' jet were intercepted near Norway’s airspace on Thursday.
The jets were observed outside Finnmark, in Norway's far north, but did not enter official Norwegian airspace.
The Russian aircraft flew to over Norwegian Sea before returning east towards Russia.
Stine Barclay Gåsland, a spokeswoman for Norway’s Air Force, told local news outlet TV 2 that Norwegian planes were sent to respond to the alert yesterday.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force posted: “Two Russian aircraft north of Finnmark today. CRC Sørreisa reported the aircraft, and NATO ordered our F-35s on their wings.
"The Russian aircraft flew to the Norwegian Sea before returning east. F-35 is on permanent readiness for Norway.”
Ms Gåsland said: We have not experienced a higher proportion of identification this year than in previous years. It is normal procedure that we fly up and identify at all foreign activity.
“A total of 58 similar identifications were made in 2021.”
“It was not in Norwegian airspace
“We are used to it happening, and there is nothing illegal in it. We pay close attention to all activity in our local areas.”