Norway scrambles warplanes to escort Russian bombers

by Reuters
Wednesday, 21 July 2021 14:51 GMT

(Adds comments from Norway)

MOSCOW, July 21 (Reuters) - Norway scrambled warplanes on Wednesday to escort Russian strategic bombers over the Barents and Norwegian seas, the Russian defence ministry said, quoted by TASS new agency.

The Russian aircraft had performed a seven-hour flight over neutral waters, the ministry said.

"Norwegian Air Force F-16 fighter jets escorted Russian strategic missile carriers through parts of their route," it said.

The manoeuvre is standard procedure when Russian planes are in international airspace close to the Norwegian borders, Major Elisabeth Eikeland of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters told Reuters. Russia does the same if the situation is reversed.

"It's nothing dramatic, it happens almost every week," she added.

After they identified the airplanes on Wednesday morning, the Norwegian airplanes returned to their base in Bodoe, northern Norway, Eikeland said. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Nora Buli in Oslo; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Angus MacSwan)

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