Russian bombers complete Arctic patrol mission
MOSCOW, January 20 (RIA Novosti) - Two Russian Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers have successfully carried out a routine patrol flight over the Arctic Ocean, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
"Two turboprop Tu-95 MS bombers, which took off from Engels Airbase, have successfully completed air patrol tasks," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.
The bombers spent about 14 hours in the air and were shadowed by six NATO aircraft - four F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters from the Norwegian Air Force and two B-45 Tornado strategic bombers from Britain's Air Force.
All flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict compliance with international law on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without intruding the airspace of other states.
Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in August 2007, following an order from then-president Vladimir Putin.
The Arctic territories, believed to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, have increasingly been at the center of disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.
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