An editorial in Ilta-Sanomat has stated that Finnish top politicians have reacted strongly to the allegations that Russia had been jamming the GPS signal in his Finland’s northern airspace during the recent Nato military exercise Trident Juncture 2018.
President Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Foreign Minister Timo Soini, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Matti Vanhanen, and Chairman of the Defence Committee Ilkka Kanerva condemned the incident. Mr Soini also promised to issue a statement to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Kremlin has disputed the allegations. The editorial states that even if no « smoking gun » could be found, Finland should object to Russia’s violation of its airspace.
An editorial in Iltalehti noted that Prime Minister Sipilä said he believed that the GPS signal jamming had deliberately demonstrated the ability to use the means of modern hybrid warfare, and that it is a confirmation of having these abilities.
Mr Sipilä also emphasized that this was not a small matter because the civil aviation security has been compromised. During an interview with Yle, the Prime Minister said it was possible that Russia might have been the disruptive party in the incident.
According to President Niinisto, the intrusion into the Finnish territory via electronic signals is comparable to territorial encroachment.
Kainuun Sanomat has reported that Russia had denied the accusations of GPS jamming in the Finnish airspace. Russian Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov said at a press conference on Monday that he had no information indicating Russian involvement in the incident.
An article in Ilta-Sanomat noted the existence of the R-330Zh Zhitel system. It is a mobile station with a frequency range covering GPS signals, as well as signals from European and Chinese satellites. Zhitel’s purpose is to interfere with communications and data connections.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has reported that Zhitel had been used to interfere with unmanned aerial equipment used by the organization in Eastern Ukraine.