Russian strategic aviation flights conform with intl law - FM.
The resumption of Russian strategic aviation flights to remote areas is being carried out in the routine fashion and in strict conformity with international law and it does not pose a threat either to the United States or to any other country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Friday in connection with recent statements on the issue by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "These flights are carried out exclusively for the purpose of maintaining Russia’s security and they by no means influence the existing balance of force in the world," the Foreign Ministry said.
On August 18 Rice said in an interview on the way to Brussels for a meeting of NATO foreign ministeres the Bush administration was unhappy with flights by Russian strategic bombers near U.S. borders and accused Moscow of playing a "dangerous game."
Talking about flights by Tu-95 Bear bombers, the U.S. secretary of state told journalists: "We've had Russian Bear flights along the Norwegian coast...even along the borders with the United States which...is a very dangerous game." "Nobody needs Russian strategic aviation along America's coasts," she added.
"Such a statement causes surprise, to say the least," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "One has the impression the Pentagon somehow manages to keep secret from the Department of State that the Untied States’ strategic bombers, unlike Russian ones, have not only never stopped flying some very specific military missions, but continue to be deployed at forward air bases outside the United States’ territory in various parts of the world."
"If one is to follow the secretary of state’s logic, it would be appropriate to ask this question – if training flights by our aircraft are ’a dangerous game,’ what term should be applied to the emergence of components of the US strategic anti-ballistic missile defense close to Russian borders? Such double standards can drive any international problem into a dead end."
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 23Aug08]
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