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Finland Says Russia Warships Intercept Research Vessel

The Finnish Environment Institute has said that Russian military ships have twice recently intercepted one of its research vessels in international waters in the Baltic Sea.

The agency says that a Russian warship ordered the "Aranda" to change course east off the Swedish island of Gotland on August 2 through radio contact.

One month later, the "Aranda" was approached by a Russian helicopter and a military vessel.

The institute said in a statement on October 11 that in neither case did the "Aranda" change its course or speed and continued its research into marine samples in the area.

It said that Swedish meteorological researchers were on the vessel during the incidents with a Finnish crew that felt intimidated by the Russian interference.

Finland’s Minister of Defense Carl Haglund called the incidents "unfortunate" and said he will demand explanations from Russia.

Based on reporting by AP and