Courtesy of Finnbay
March 20, 2014
The Finnish Air Force is sucked into a dogfight between the U.S. and Russia jets flying nearby Finland. The Crimea crisis has worsened the U.S. and Russia relations where two of the countries are now readying their military capabilities for a potential violent conflict in the Baltic region.
For the last three days, Russian and American planes got into a dogfight nearby Finland’s air space, said sources.
“American and Russian military planes are flying in different ways than usually in nearby areas of east and south of Finland. The Finnish force has been quick to have its Karelian Air Command in Rissala to be at alert for any potential outcome,” said the unit’s commander, Col. Ossi Siven.
The U.S. has been the key player in Crimea crisis in escalating the tensions as it has been grouping the Western countries to take concrete steps against Russia.
On Monday, the EU and the U.S. adopted visa-sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials over Russia’s intervention in Crimea. Later on, the EU, after its meeting with the U.S. officials, threatened Russia with further economic sanction(s).
Russia has been preparing itself for the worst outcome. On Tuesday, Russia decided to move more than 3000 soldiers to the Finnish border in which some experts claim that the move is a response to Finland for its edgy comments against Russia as well as the EU and the U.S. sanctions on the Crimea issue.
Moreover, Russia started large-scale “aviation exercises” nearby Finland and close to Baltic ex-Soviet republics that are members of NATO and wary of Russia after its annexation of Crimea.
The United States encouraged NATO to protect its member states few days ago, and then sent F-16 fighter jets to Poland for drills and holding joint exercises with other allies that were once Soviet branches.
Yesterday afternoon, the conflict was escalated from a political-fight to a dogfight in the air between the U.S. and Russian jets. The Finnish air force has been monitoring the situation and taking short exercises nearby American and Russian planes.
“The Baltic Sea is in our top priority and there has been provocative air-traffic over it. If anything unusual happens nearby our country and in the Baltic, then the Finnish military will not be asleep at that point. Rather we will be ready to guard our nation, which is our main duty,” says Siven.