Denmark encroaches on Sweden's airspace more often than Russia

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark encroaches on Sweden's airspace more often than Russia
Danish F16 fighters. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

When fighter aircraft from other countries enter Sweden's airspace, an alarm is activated.


Scandinavian neighbour Denmark is a worse culprit for setting off the alarm than Russia, according to a response given in parliament by Danish minister of defence Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

Russia has activated the alarm three times during the last three years, compared to Denmark's nine times during the same period, Frederiksen said, citing Swedish authorities.

That makes Denmark the country most culpable for setting off the airspace alarm on the other side of the Øresund.

Frederiksen gave the information in response to a request from opposition Red-Greeen Alliance MP Søren Søndergaard.

The defence minister was asked to check the figures with Stockholm, with Søndergaard citing a "general impression that Russia encroaches on other countries' airspaces".

Last week, Russian military aircraft flew close enough to Denmark's west coast to activate a scrambling of Danish F-16 fighters, although the Russian planes never entered Danish territory.

The United States also flew over Swedish airspace more often than the Russians, with seven alarms during the last three years.

Norway, Germany, France, Turkey and Portugal have also been registered as flying in Swedish airspace since 2016.

In his parliamentary response, Frederiksen said the Danes had registered seven encroachments by Denmark on Swedish airspace, although two more had been noted by Stockholm.

The difference is due to "different registration methods, lack of reporting and errors and inaccuracies with equipment," according to the Danish minister.

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