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9 Feb, 2008 22:38

Russia rejects Japanese bomber claims

Russia is rejecting claims that a strategic TU-95 bomber has violated Japanese airspace. On Saturday, the Japanese Defence Ministry said a Russian jet had intruded into Japanese airspace for three minutes.

Twenty-four Japanese planes were scrambled to intercept the bomber.

The Russian Air Force says four Russian long-haul bombers were on a ten-hour patrol mission over the Pacific Ocean. However, it says, the flight was carried out over neutral waters and in strict accordance with international rules.

“We've been performing these flights for several months already and there have been no previous claims. I don't know why these claims have arisen. I can state that there have been no violations of state borders,” said Igor Sadofyev, Deputy Chief of the Russian Air Force.