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Russian border guard helicopter violates Estonia's airspace

Russian border guard helicopter violates Estonia's airspace

HELSINKI (AP) — NATO member Estonia said Tuesday that a Russian border guard helicopter violated the airspace of the Baltic nation over the weekend, and Russia’s ambassador was summoned and given a note over the incident.

Estonia’s military said in a statement that the Russian MI-8 helicopter entered the country’s airspace in southeastern Estonia in the Koidula area — not far from the Russian city of Pskov — without permission on Saturday evening.

The helicopter was in Estonia’s airspace for almost two minutes, Estonia’s military said, adding that it hadn’t presented a flight plan, had its transponder switched off and failed to maintain radio contact with Estonian Air Navigation Services.

The alleged intrusion was the second violation of Estonia’s airspace this year. Last year, Russian aircraft — military and civilian — violated Estonia’s airspace five times, the military said.

On Friday, Russia’s ambassador to Denmark was summoned to the Danish foreign ministry after a Russian military vessel twice violated the country’s territorial waters off the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.

The incident happened while many Danish lawmakers were on the island for an annual gathering of politicians and lobbyists.