On Wednesday, the Russian Defence Ministry said that two Tu-160 bombers had conducted a regular flight over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. At certain stages of the mission, the Russian combat aircraft were escorted by NATO warplanes. The flight lasted for eight hours, it added.
"Two Tu-160 strategic missile carriers completed a regular flight over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. The flight lasted for eight hours. At certain stages of the route, Russian aircraft were accompanied by F-18 Finnish Air Force, F-16 Danish Air Force, Poland F-16, Saab JAS 39 Gripen Swedish Air Force", the Ministry's statement reads.
Pilots of long-range aviation perform regular flights over the Arctic, North Atlantic, Black and Baltic Seas, and the Pacific Ocean, the statement added.
Russia’s Defence Ministry has repeatedly stressed that Russian warplanes fly over neutral waters in strict compliance with international rules of the use of airspace.