Scandinavian neighbour Sweden – and not Russia – sees its airspace regularly violated, said Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Danish Minister of Defence in response to a question raised in parliament.
The violations were revealed in response to a request from opposition Red-Green Alliance MP Søren Søndergaard. Denmark seems to be the the country least concerned about sovereign airspace in the region.
While a Russian intrusion has activated the Swedish alarm three times during the last three years, Denmark violated Swedish airspace at least nine times during the same period, Frederiksen explained, citing Swedish authorities.
The Defence Minister was asked to cross check the number of airspace violations with Stockholm since there has been a “general impression that Russia encroaches on other countries’ airspaces” according to Søndergaard.
Even the United States violated Swedish airspace more often than Russian planes, with seven alarms triggered during the last three years. In addition, friendly nations such as Norway, Germany, France and Portugal have been listed as having violated Swedish airspace since 2016. And Turkey has also been noted as a culprit.
Danish F-16 fighters were scrambled last week after Russian planes passed the west coast of Jutland, even though they never crossed into Danish territory.
Frederiksen said in his parliamentary response that Denmark had registered only seven encroachments by his country on Swedish airspace, while Stockholm had noted two additional violations.
According to the Danish minister, this discrepancy is due to “different registration methods, lack of reporting and errors and inaccuracies with equipment”.
In the Danish media however, there has been a lot of focus on the Russian military aircraft that often fly to the limits of Danish airspace.
Claus Hjort Frederiksen has previously stated that Danish aircraft since 2016 had violated Swedish airspace six times.
In the new answer, however, he acknowledged that this information was wrong when a defense aircraft in August last year violated Swedish airspace without the Armed Forces being informed of it.
In January, the Swedish military complained that a Russian reconnaissance plane escorted by two Russian fighter jets briefly violated Sweden’s air space on the country’s Baltic Sea coast, south of Karlshamn, some 135 kilometers northeast of the coastal city of Malmo.
The military said in a statement that the planes entered Swedish airspace without permission, and the episode had been reported to the Swedish government.
According to the Associated Press “several reports of airspace violations by Russian military aircraft” were noted, thus creating the impression with readers of an impending Russian threat.