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10 May, 2008 09:21

NATO planes accused of risking lives

Russia has criticised NATO pilots for endangering the safety of their bomber crews in International air space.

The Interfax news agency quotes the head of the Russian Air Force Alexander Zelin as saying NATO planes are creating risky situations during their escort missions.

According to Zelin, NATO planes ‘approach Russian bombers at unacceptable distances and at unacceptable intervals’ and ‘conduct various manoeuvres around them’.

He claims the Russian crews are keeping a video record of the incidents.

Moscow resumed long-distance patrol flights of its strategic bombers in August last year after 16 years on hold.

Russia believes the practice is aimed at strengthening its defence capability.