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20 juin 2008 5 20 /06 /juin /2008 17:24

MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - Four Russian strategic bombers are carrying out a routine patrol over remote areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, a Russian Air Force spokesman said on Friday.

"Two Tu-95MS Bear and two Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers based at Engels airfield in southern Russia's Saratov Region are conducting on Friday a routine patrol flight over the Arctic and Atlantic oceans," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by former President Vladimir Putin. Russian bombers have since carried out over 80 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes.

Drik reiterated that all Russian strategic patrols are performed in strict accordance with international rules on the use of airspace over neutral waters without violating the borders of other states.

Air Force commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said in April that Russia would drastically increase the number of strategic patrol flights over the world's oceans to 20-30 a month in the near future.

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