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Russia to fly 20-30 strategic patrol missions every month

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Russia is set to drastically increase its number of strategic aviation patrol flights over the world's oceans to 20-30 a month, the Air Force commander said on Friday.
MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is set to drastically increase its number of strategic aviation patrol flights over the world's oceans to 20-30 a month, the Air Force commander said on Friday.

"We will be making 20-30 flights a month, not two or three, as was the case until recently," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

He said that during their patrol missions Russian aircraft are accompanied by NATO F-15, F-16 and F-22 fighters, adding that the military alliance's planes do not always comply with international rules.

"They behave tactlessly, to put it mildly - they approach too close [in breach of international regulations]," the commander said.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Vladimir Putin. The move has been widely seen by the West as a sign of Russia's increasingly aggressive military stance.

Russian bombers have since carried out over 70 strategic patrol flights.

The Air Force command earlier said that all flights by Russian aircraft were performed by skilled pilots in strict compliance with international laws on the use of air space over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.

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