Russian vessel suspected of violating Finnish territorial waters

The alleged incursion into Finnish waters by a large Russian sailboat lasted some 20 minutes, the defence ministry said Thursday.

A Russian training sailboat is believed to have entered Finnish territorial waters in the Archipelagic Sea in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry.

Defence Ministry specialist Kristian Vakkuri said that the suspected marine incursion lasted roughly 20 minutes as the vessel sailed in a southeasterly direction.

"We will not say any more at this stage," Vakkuri added. The ministry spokesperson also declined to explain how the vessel was detected. "I won't expand on operational activities," he remarked.

Vakkuri said that the vessel in question was a large government ship. He said that the Finnish Border Guard is investigating the suspected territorial violation and will provide more information on the probe at a later date.

Last year Finnish authorities recorded a total of five territorial incursions; three of them took place in Finnish airspace, while two occurred at sea.

According to STT news agency, officials have not recorded any other territorial incursions in Finland this year.

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