On December 12, an SAS flight taking off from Copenhagen, Denmark, had to change course in order to avoid a Russian military intelligence jet flying south of Sweden.
The SAS flight, en-route to Poznan, Poland, was asked to change course due to a Russian military plane which was flying in the international airspace with its transponder turned-off.
Regarding the incident as “serious, inappropriate and dangerous”, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said, “Flying without a transponder means that you can’t say where a plane is located…The risk of an accident is very high.”
According to Nicolai Wammen, Denmark’s Defense minister, “It is dangerous and completely unnecessary that Russian military aircraft fly so close to civil air traffic in the Baltic Sea. The safety of passengers must always come first, and Russia must respect that.”
Following the incident, Sweden and Denmark have summoned Russian ambassadors to register the complaint at official level.
Spokesperson of Russian Defense ministry, Igor Konashenkov, has rejected the claims saying, “The flight was being made strictly in compliance with international airspace rules, not violating borders of other countries and at a safe distance from traffic routes of civilian aircraft.”