On 18 May, an aircraft of the Russian navy violated the Estonian air space.
The plane, a Tupolev 154, entered the Estonian air space without permission near the island of Vaindloo in northeastern Estonia, in the middle of the Gulf of Finland.
The Estonian Defence Forces said in a statement that the plane spent less than a minute in the Estonian air space. Its transponder was turned on and the plane had a flight plan. It didn’t have any contact with the Estonian air traffic controllers.
According to the statement, this was the first violation of the Estonian air space by Russia in 2019.
The Estonian foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador in Estonia and handed him a diplomatic note.
Vaindloo is a small island located in the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea. It belongs to Estonia and it is the northernmost point of the country. It’s located 26 kilometres (16 miles) north of the Estonian mainland. The island is notable for its functioning lighthouse that was built in 1871.
Russian planes frequently violate the Estonian air space, especially near the island of Vaindloo. At least four violations happened in 2018.
The Tupolev 154 aircraft is a Soviet-made three-engine medium-range narrow-body airplane designed in the mid-1960s. It has a range of 5,280 kilometres (3,280 miles).
Cover: Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M (photo: Kirill Naumenko/Wikipedia).