NATO Continues to Accuse Russia of ‘Threatening’ Civilian Planes

High-Profile Incident in Sweden Turned Out Not to Even Be Russian Plane

NATO officials continue to rail about Russian warplanes flying near NATO airspace, sometimes without their transponders, claiming that the planes are a threat to “civilian air traffic” in Europe.

NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg argued that having more Russian planes in the air at all posed an increase to civilian planes, apparently on the grounds that there is a finite amount of room in the air for planes.

Yet one of the most high-profile recent incidents, involving a “Russian” warplanes violating Swedish airspace briefly, turned out to be totally false, with the culprit later identified as a French warplane.

Russian planes have flown close to the airspace of various NATO nations, but have not violated their airspace, and despite the continued accusations the flights don’t appear to be so much an increase in Russian activity as an increase in NATO hyping those incidents as serious.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of