GPS jamming in Finland

Summary:
According to an editorial in Ilkka, the details of the case of GPS jamming during NATO exercise in Finland have not been opened, but the Ministry for Foreign Afffairs said that Russia was involved. The latter denied involvement and demanded concrete proofs, which is unlikely to come, as both Norway and Finland would reveal to Russia the accuracy of their own technology.

According to the editorial, the matter has shifted to the diplomatic level, but details of the debate between the State Secretary and the Ambassador of Russia are not reaching the public. However, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has informed that air safety is of interest to both parties. The Ministry demands more information and responsible action from Russia, but it is unknown what has been Russia’s response to Finland’s request.

The editorial states that the case is not to be treated lightly, as its timing for the NATO exercises was carefully planned and it was a jab at Finland for its NATO connection. Finland’s Foreign Affairs Committee was expected to receive a statement from Foreign Minister Timo Soin (sin.) on Thursday about the direction in which the case has been going.

Minister Soini has said that a discussion about the GPS jamming case continues with Russia. The Russian Ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov was invited to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Monday. Mr Soini did not comment on Monday about details of the talks between Mr Kuznetsov and Foreign Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Matti Anttonen.

It was, in his view, a debate, not a talk, but the fact that such a conversation has been arranged at all indicates that this is a serious matter. Mr Soini said in Brussels that the discussion went on in good spirits. He noted that Finland typically takes care of issues such as this one bilaterally.

« We have had a clear idea that the disruption has come from the Russian side. We have demanded answers and discussion has taken place. I believe this debate will continue in some form, » Mr Soini said.

Keskisuomalainen has noted that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä had stated that the suspected GPS jamming was deliberate. He did not elaborate on what the objective of the act may have been, but did say that Russia was known to have the capabilities to carry it out.

According to Yle, head of the ministry’s security policy and crisis management unit Sari Rautio said that both sides in the discussion showed interest in aviation safety, but that no further concrete steps were agreed. It is unclear what a possible follow-up on the request for additional information would be. ms Rautio declined to comment further on Mr Kuznetsov’s response to the issue at the meeting, but said it was a normal diplomatic interaction, carried out in a positive spirit.

According to a statement by the Russian Embassy on Monday, Finland provided no evidence to prove that the source of disruption was located in Russia. « We received no information proving that the jamming source was located in Russia. In this regard, we believe that a thorough expert dialogue, involving the relevant agencies from the countries of the region, is necessary for the consideration of such situations, » Ambassador Kuznetsov stated.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Russia had no information about GPS failures or its possible involvement.

Media:  Ilkka , Ilta-Sanomat, Keskisuomalainen, Savon Sanomat (E-edition), YLE
Date: 20.11.2018
Journalist: STT: Anniina Luotonen, Nina Törnudd, Hannu Aaltonen
Main source:

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