The Russian town of Nikel is some few kilometres from the border to Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Russian military aircraft close to Norwegian border

A Russian fighter jet was only seconds away from Norwegian airspace west of Nikel on the Kola Peninsula on Tuesday.
February 17, 2016

Eye witnesses in Nikel say the jet aircraft passed just some few hundred meters above the factory in the direction towards the Pasvik River, which forms the Russian-Norwegian land border.

A local source tells to the Independent Barents Observer that the aircraft had approximately the same high above the ground as the top of the chimneys at the factory. A fighter jet will only use a few seconds from Nikel to the Norwegian border line. 

The plane was observed around 14.00 Moscow time, 12.00 Norwegian time.

Norwegian military officials confirm Russian aircraft activities in the area.

“Yes, we observed large aircraft activity yesterday,” says press spokesman Lt. Col. Ivar Moen with the Joint Head Quarters to the Independent Barents Observer.

Although the aircraft was only seconds away from Norwegian airspace, the Norwegian military describes the flight-paths as well inside Russian territory.

“The activity was well inside Russian territory and the Joint Head Quarters consider it as an normal exercise from Russian side,” Moen says.

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On Friday, the Norwegian Armed Forces’ main winter exercise Cold Response 2016 starts in the Trøndelag area. The exercise includes some 15,000 military personnel from 14 nations. In addition to NATO members, also Sweden and Finland participate in Cold Response.

Russia has four military airfields on the Kola Peninsula, one at Kilp-Javr west of Murmansk, one outside Severomorsk north of Murmansk, one near Olenegorsk and one near Monchegorsk south of Murmansk.

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