MOSCOW – Journalists from the US edition of NBC News say that “Russia chases American planes in the Arctic.” According to the media, this is part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s want “to signal that Moscow remains a strategic competitor to Washington and has the ability to attack the U.S. mainland.”
Journalists note that more and more American pilots in Alaska are forced to wake up in the morning and board F-22 fighters at their Anchorage base to keep Russian planes out of US airspace.
“The bomber patrols are part of Moscow’s efforts to showcase that it has both the operational abilities and strategic intent to compete in the Arctic, which it sees as an area of core national interest given its resources and sea lanes. Russia has recently established or upgraded seven military bases in the region, outfitted with ports, airfields, tankers and icebreakers, indicating it is willing to assert itself and possibly attempt to limit the freedom of navigation of commercial and military vessels,” the article said.
“Absent such early and demonstrative collective action, Russia is likely to continue to push the limits of international norms in the Arctic to change the balance of power in the region in its favor. If the window to ensure the protection of international norms closes, the United States and its allies may find themselves in an Arctic where Russia sets the rules,” the article warned.
However, the Russian Ministry of Defense has repeatedly stated that the Russian Aerospace Force’s strategic Tu-95MS aircraft make flights in strict compliance with international airspace standards without violating the borders of other States.
As Russian military officials indicate, these are routine flights into the airspace over the international waters of the Chukotka, Bering and Okhotsk seas, as well as along the west coast of Alaska and the northern coast of the Aleutian Islands.
At the same time, it is noteworthy that NBC News reporters themselves admit that US intelligence also sends planes to make flights near Russian territory to collect data and study operational control procedures. In particular, US spy planes intensified flights near the Crimean coast and the Far East.