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    Russian Pacific Fleet aircraft have been conducting scheduled patrol exercises this week over the Sea of Japan, where U.S. Navy ships have been holding exercises, the Pacific Fleet said on Friday.

    VLADIVOSTOK, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Pacific Fleet aircraft have been conducting scheduled patrol exercises this week over the Sea of Japan, where U.S. Navy ships have been holding exercises, the Pacific Fleet said on Friday.

    Maritime patrol Il-38 May planes from the Pacific Fleet have been making routine flights over the sea, but have not flown close to the U.S. vessels, the Fleet's headquarters said.

    CNN earlier reported that on Monday and Tuesday, several Russian Il-38 aircraft flew over the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier, at an altitude of just 150 meters (492 feet). The news network said that on Tuesday, two Il-38s flew within 600 meters of the USS Blue Ridge.

    "The Pacific Fleet pilots have been conducting exercises to ensure the security of Russia's border near the Sea of Japan, where U.S. Navy vessels are located," the spokesman said. "The aircraft have remained at a safe distance from the U.S. vessels, adhering strictly to international laws."

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