Commenting on Turkey’s downing of a Russian military plane on its border with Syria, the Finnish foreign minister noted that there is the risk of such serious events if there are many operators in the same area without proper coordination.


Foreign ministers Wallström and Soini


The Finnish and Swedish foreign ministers, speaking on Tuesday afternoon in Helsinki, reacted cautiously to news that Turkey had shot down a Russian fighter jet along its border with Syria.


Turkey says the plane had violated its airspace and was warned repeatedly to stop doing so. Russia insists the plane was within Syria. Turkmen forces in Syria reportedly shot dead the two pilots as they descended with parachutes.


At a joint press conference after a working lunch in the Finnish capital, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström noted that the downing adds uncertainty to an unstable situation.


“This indicates what a dangerous stage this region has become,” she said. “There are many different countries with different interests. Russia’s involvement in the area has been very problematic so far.” 


“Many operators without proper coordination”


Her Finnish counterpart, Timo Soini, said that the incident was very serious, even though the facts are still to be established.


“This is of course is very serious and of course we have to wait for the more detailed information, but the whole environment is very challenging. This is a difficult and challenging environment in that sense,” he observed.


“I’m worried about the situation, if this kind of actions – or whatever it can be called at the moment – because we don’t know the details…hopefully it will be the only one. But [there is] the risk if many operators are operating in the same area without a proper coordination [that] there can be serious things happening as now.”