Tensions with Russia were yet again elevated on Tuesday as the Finnish military fired underwater depth charges as a warning against a suspected submarine in its territorial waters near Helsinki. The incident comes amid growing military tensions with neighboring Russia.
The Finnish navy noticed an underwater target on Monday and then again on Tuesday morning and fired some warning charges, which were the size of grenades.
Finland shares an 833 mile border with Russia and has become increasingly worried about its powerful neighbor after a year of Russian belligerence that saw air force sorties and military border exercises.
Defense minister Carl Haglund did not explicitly say that Russia was involved but there are no countries that would have been in the region otherwise, according to reports.
“We strongly suspect that there has been underwater activity that does not belong there. Of course it is always serious if our territorial waters have been violated,” Haglund told Finnish news outfit STT.
“The bombs are not intended to damage the target, the purpose is to let the target know that it has been noticed,” Commodore Olavi Jantunen told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.
A Russian submarine was spotted off Stockholm last year and led to Sweden’s biggest mobilization since the Cold War.
The fact live weapons were used suggest, again, that the world is growing impatient with Russia and its brinkmanship. It’s likely that the latest move will increase resolve for sanction and cutting of economic ties which have hurt the Russian economy badly.