Associated Press
Thursday, June 11, 2020

HELSINKI (AP) - Estonia’s military says a civilian aircraft belonging to Russia has violated the airspace of the Baltic nation, a member of NATO.

Officials said the Tupolev Tu-204-300, a type of passenger plane regularly used by the Russian government, spent less than one minute in Estonian airspace near the Baltic Sea island of Vaindloo on Wednesday morning.

The plane’s transponder had been switched on but the crew did not present a flight plan, the Estonian military said Thursday. The aircraft also failed to keep radio contact with the Estonian Air Navigation Services, the military said.

Russia’s ambassador to Estonia, Alexander Petrov,, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where Estonian officials presented him with a note about the incident, the military said.

The Estonian military said it was the first air violation by a Russian aircraft this year. Several identical air violations by Russian aircraft have taken place in the same location in past years.

Vaindloo, a small island that belongs to Estonia, is near a corridor where Russian planes - both civilian and military - fly from the St. Petersburg area to Russia’s Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania.

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