An aide to the commander of the Russian Air Force has denied accusations that two Russian strategic bombers violated British airspace.
Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky, quoting Air Force Commander Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin, denied British media reports that two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were headed for British airspace, leading the British Royal Air Force to launch intercepting fighters, Novosti reported Wednesday.
"Reports that Russian bombers were flying towards British airspace are untrue. The long-range aircraft were on a scheduled mission over international waters," Drobyshevsky quoted Zelin as saying.
"Bomber flights in international airspace are planned at least six months ahead, and we inform all countries concerned about them in advance," he said.
The aide said Zelin denied speculation that the incident was tied to ongoing diplomatic turbulence between Russia and Britain. Four Russian diplomats were expelled from Britain after Russia refused to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, a key suspect in the London death of Alexander Litvinenko. Russia said its constitution does not allow for the extradition of Russian nationals.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2007, 01:07