MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday it was surprised at a statement by US General Herbert Carlisle of an increase in flights of Russian long-range aircraft over the Pacific Ocean amid the situation in Ukraine.
Russian strategic bombers Tu-95 flew close to the coast of the US state of California and the US Pacific island of Guam, according to General Carlisle. California and Guam are about 10 thousand kilometers away from Ukraine.
"The public statements by General Carlisle about the allegedly increased activity of Russian long-range aviation 'amid the situation in Ukraine' utterly surprised the Russian Defense Ministry," a senior official at the ministry told reporters Tuesday.
"First, the US border lies very close to Russia’s border in the Bering Strait area. At the very least, it is strange to see the Russian Air Force flights over neutral waters of the Pacific Ocean as some kind of challenge to the US. Especially when the intensity of the American reconnaissance flights near the eastern borders of Russia has never declined since the end of the Cold War," the official added.
The attempt to somehow connect the Russian military aircraft flights in the eastern Pacific Ocean to the events in Ukraine can be explained only by "poor knowledge of geography, if for no other reason than because these areas are located in different hemispheres of the earth," the representative of the Defense Ministry said.
Russia’s strategic bomber force regularly performs flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic, Atlantic, Black Sea and Pacific Ocean.
Last month, Russian Tu-95MS “Bear” strategic bombers, accompanied by supersonic Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptors, conducted test flights over neutral waters of the North Sea.