Russian MoD: US Fighters Escorted Tu-95 Strategic Bombers Over Arctic Ocean
Regular air patrols by Russian planes over neutral waters in seas and oceans around the world are carried out in strict accordance with international regulations on the use of airspace.
The Russian Defense Ministry stated that US F-22 fighter jets had been escorting Russian long-range aircraft for 40 minutes without approaching them closer than 100 meters.
The ministry has emphasized that the Russian bombers had been conducting a flight over neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean.
“All the flights are being carried out in strict compliance with the international rules of the use of airspace without violating borders of other countries,” the ministry added.
The announcement came after the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reported that US F-22 stealth fighters had intercepted a pair of Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers in international airspace off the coast of Alaska.
According to the report, the nuclear-capable Russian bombers allegedly strayed into the North American Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which covers an area stretching roughly 200 miles off the western coast of Alaska.
The Russian aircraft were “intercepted and monitored by the F-22s until the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west,” and never entered US airspace, NORAD and USNORTHCOM spokesman Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy said in a statement.
He added that the Russian bombers had not violated US airspace, CNN reported without elaborating any further.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that Tu-95 long-range bombers and long-range Tu-142 antisubmarine planes had flown over neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk practicing refueling in mid-air.
Russian military aircraft regularly carry out patrol flights over neutral waters in seas and oceans around the world, including the Arctic region, the Black Sea, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.