Reports indicate that portions of NATO’s newest member, Finland, have experienced disruptions in GPS navigation signals.
Previous GPS interruptions have prompted conjecture about Russian participation; however, there is no evidence that Moscow was responsible for the most recent event, which has disrupted signals used by both pilots and cars.
Reports from YLE News in Finland cite the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) saying that GPS abnormalities were discovered in the southeast and eastern parts of the country on Sunday.
Aviators over a large portion of Finland noticed the disturbances on New Year’s Eve, and Jari Pöntinen, the head of aviation at Traficom, admitted that they were widespread.
Pöntinen stressed that planes have backup navigation systems if the GPS signal jammed or malfunctioned.
On April 4, 2023, Finland became the newest member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In the months leading up to the GPS blackout, the border between Finland and Russia was closed many times. Concerns about Russian GPS signal jamming as a potential cause of these disturbances surfaced, but Pöntinen remained silent. But he did see a link between GPS outages and war zones in the past.
French aviation safety expert Benoît Roturier, chief of satellite navigation at the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile, said that Moscow was responsible for GPS jamming problems impacting planes over Finland shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.
In April 2022, he said the intention was not to disrupt civilian aircraft but to safeguard soldiers against GPS-guided missiles.
Since Finland’s April 2023 NATO membership, tensions between the two capitals have grown. Helsinki has accused Russia of contributing to the migration problem by allowing migrants to cross its border, an accusation that the Kremlin has denied.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Mikhail Ulyanov warned last week that Finland is exposed in the event of a NATO-Moscow conflict, citing Helsinki’s April admission to the alliance.
The Finnish foreign ministry said that the country’s membership in the alliance was a response “to Russia’s war of aggression and its ramifications to the European security environment” in response to Ulyanov’s remarks.
At this time, Finland is not facing any imminent military danger. According to the statement, Finland’s support for Ukraine remains unwavering.