Estonia protests to Russia about ‘unacceptable’ violation of its airspace

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 Estonia summoned the Russian ambassador and formally protested about the violation of its airspace by a Russian helicopter on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.

“Estonia considers this an extremely serious and regrettable incident that is completely unacceptable,” the ministry said in a release, saying the helicopter had flown over a point in the southeast of the small Baltic nation without permission. Estonia made an identical complaint to Moscow in June.

On Tuesday evening, a Mil Mi-8 helicopter crossed from Russian airspace into Estonian airspace near Koidula border checkpoint unauthorized, the Headquarters of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) said.

The helicopter had not filed a flight plan and had its transponder turned off at the time, the EDF said in a press release. It also lacked two-way radio communication with Estonian air traffic services (ATS).

The Mi-8 helicopter remained within Estonian airspace for nearly one minute

Tuesday’s airspace violation by Russia marked the third in Estonia this year.

Previously, a Mil Mi-8 helicopter belonging to the Russian Border Guard violated Estonian airspace on the night of June 18, likewise in the Koidula region of Southeastern Estonia, where it remained for approximately two minutes, the Ministry of Defense reported.

Last year, Russian Federation aircraft violated Estonian airspace on five occasions.

A file photo of a Russian Mi-8 military helicopter . EPA-EFE/ALEXEY MAISHEV / HOST PHOTO AGENCY

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