The flight of the American B-52 plane in the Gulf of Finland is a clear message" - This is how the experts assess the situation in Suursaari

Director of the Foreign Policy Institute Mika Aaltola considers the flight of the US B-52 plane over the Gulf of Finland as a clear message.
A US Air Force B-52 bomber has flown over the Gulf of Finland during Saturday evening. Helsingin Sanomat was the first to report on the matter in Finland, according to which the American plane flew on Saturday evening from Poland to the Baltic Sea and from there all the way to the Gulf of Finland, from where it turned towards Suursaari, which used to belong to Russia, towards the Baltic countries.

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"The flight of the US B-52 plane in the Gulf of Finland is a clear message. The Gulf of Finland is one of Europe's most strategically important straits, where Russia increased its activities, e.g. Suursaari. This is how de facto allies are taken care of and a counter-deterrent message is sent", Aaltola commented on Twitter.
He reminds, that Russia has increased its provocative activities from Alaska to the Arctic.

"This is counter-signaling." Yle reported earlier in the week, that Russia is from the annexation of Crimea, i.e. from 2014 since activated on Suursaari in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, Near Kotka.
Yle: Russia activated in Suursaari - "Outpost" built near Kotka for capabilities for the armed forces

Former intelligence chief of the General Staff, However, Major General Harri Ohra-aho assessed, that Suursaari has not the slightest military strategic importance for Russia.

"In conflicts with Finland's long-range missile systems (mm. Gabriel 5, JASSM, GMLRS) it wouldn't take many minutes to destroy the helicopter bases on the island", he notes on Twitter.

Head of the Russia research group at the National Defense University, lieutenant colonel Simo Pesu reminds, however, that it is more about the whole.

"Management of St. Petersburg's access roads and the reach of sensors, e.g. At the mouth of the Gulf of Finland – the island, located in the connection with land areas, has no independent military significance, it is part of the whole", he writes in his reply to Ohra-aho.

Charly Salonius-Pasternak, leading researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute, gave an assessment to Yle this week, that Russia considers Suursaari to be a refueling point and an emergency landing place for helicopters. According to him, the matter is militarily rational and normal, because the island belongs to Russia. According to Salonius-Pasternak, the increased presence of Russia is not a threat to Finland's physical security, but it tells about Russia's preparation and readiness for "everything".


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