MOSCOW, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers have carried out a routine patrol flight over the Arctic, an Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said the bombers had spent over 12 hours in flight and were shadowed by two British Tornado and two Norwegian F-16 fighters.
Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in August 2007, following an order from then-president Vladimir Putin.
All flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict compliance with international law on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states, Drik said.
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.