On Wednesday March 2nd, four Russian jets briefly entered Swedish airspace over the Baltic sea, sparking condemnation from Sweden’s defence minister.
The two Russian SU27 fighters jets and two SU24 attack aircrafts entered Swedish airspace for approximately one minute, triggering Sweden to launch JAS39 Gripen jets to intercept and document the violation.
Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist stated that “the Russian violation of Swedish airspace is of course completely unacceptable,” “It will lead to a firm diplomatic response from Sweden. Swedish sovereignty and territory must always be respected.”
“This demonstrates that our readiness is good. We were on site to secure Sweden’s borders and territorial integrity. We are in full control of the situation”, said Air Force Commander Carl-Johan Edström.
Stockholm had confirmed the incident and interception earlier this month, however reports of two of the jets being armed with nuclear payloads was confirmed on March 30th. It is thought that the move by Russian military may have been a deliberate attempt to intimidate Sweden, as they had increased sanctions against Russia, sent military aid to Ukraine and supplied 5,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukrainian forces.