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Finland Summons Russian Envoy Over Blocked GPS Signals

Finnish soldiers participating in NATO's Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 last month.
Finnish soldiers participating in NATO's Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 last month.

Russia's Ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov has been summoned to a meeting with Finnish State Secretary Matti Anttonen on November 19 over the disruption of Finland's global positioning system (GPS) signals during recent NATO military exercises.

"We don't have anything to hide here. Disruption is a serious matter which disturbs civil aviation. We will act towards Russia, we will discuss this, and we expect answers," Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini told public broadcaster Yle while on a state visit to the United States on November 16.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry said on November 15 that the disruption of Finland's GPS signal during recent NATO military exercises on November 12 came from Russian territory.

The Kremlin dismissed an earlier Finnish allegation that Russia may have intentionally disrupted the signal during the exercises.

"We know nothing about Russia's possible involvement in those GPS failures," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "There is a trend to blame all mortal sins on Russia. As a rule, these allegations are unfounded."

Earlier in November, Finland's air navigation services issued a warning for air traffic due to a large-scale GPS interruption in the north of the country.

Russia was also recently accused by Norway, which has posted a similar warning in its own airspace.

Finland is not a NATO member, but it took part as an ally in NATO's largest exercise in decades which ended on November 14. Forces from 31 countries participated in the games close to Russia, in an area stretching from the Baltic Sea to Iceland.

Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russia.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS

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