According to the researcher, Russia may react to the flight of the American bomber over the Gulf of Finland

According to the researcher Russia may react to the flight

Henri Vanhanen, a researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute, believes that both NATO and Russia will increase their presence in the region of the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, which has been identified as a significant hub.

A US Air Force B-52 bomber flew over the Gulf of Finland on Saturday evening. The plane, which turned on its transponder in Poland, initially seemed to be heading towards Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg. However, the plane turned off its route towards the Baltic before Suursaari, which belongs to Russia.

Researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute Henri Vanhanen says that the purpose of the flight was probably to send a message to Russia that the United States is committed to the region, its security, and that it is ready to defend the region.

According to Vanhanen, the increased activity in the Gulf of Finland is one of the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine.

– The security situation in Europe is more tense than before, as a result of which military activity has also increased in Northern Europe.

The importance of the Baltic Sea has always been great in terms of Article 5 of NATO and the defense of the Baltic countries, Vanhanen states. Especially since 2014, according to him, the issue has been understood within NATO.

reported earlier this week that Russia had increased military activity in Suursaari, about 40 kilometers from the Finnish coast. According to Vanhanen, yesterday’s flight could also be a response to this activity.

Read more: Russia has been active in Suursaari, which is right next to Finland

According to Vanhanen, yesterday’s flight of a US military plane is unusual in the sense that they have previously been seen in the Gulf of Finland mainly in connection with military exercises. In addition to occasional individual flights, Norway and Sweden have previously allowed US planes to use their airspace.

– It is not the first time that the bombers in question have been seen in this area, but of course in times like this their importance is emphasized. When we are reminded that we are present in this region and are active, it is hoped that it will have a restraining effect on Russia’s actions.

The old man does not see drama in flight

Vanhanen believes that Russia will be able to react to the flight of the US bomber in one way or another. In addition to own similar flights, it could possibly involve GPS interference aimed at air traffic or various airspace violations.

– In such cases, it is almost in accordance with the protocol. Backlash is not excluded.

Vanhanen does not feel that there was any drama in yesterday’s flight. However, he sees that the risks increase as the different parties in the region become more active.

– If this kind of activity becomes more common, the risks of damage will naturally also increase. Over the years, Russia has made several dangerous fighter flights near US military equipment in the Baltic Sea region.

The importance of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland is increasing

Vanhanen considers it almost certain that both Russia and NATO will focus more and more activities in the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland area in the future with Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO applications.

– The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s most significant hubs in terms of shipping and trade, which makes its stability and management important for all parties involved. During a hypothetical crisis situation, managing the sea area and its airspace is also very important in order to be able to support possible military operations, Vanhanen states.