Kremlin criticizes US B-52 flights near Russian borders

Kremlin criticizes US B-52 flights near Russian borders

The Russian government reportedly criticized the U.S. Thursday for deploying nuclear-capable B-52s bombers near its border, saying the move escalates regional tensions.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced Thursday that it had scrambled two Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jets to intercept a B-52 strategic bomber that was detected approaching international boundaries, according to Reuters.

The Kremlin said the fighter jets returned to base after the B-52s reversed course.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In general, I will limit myself to only saying that of course such actions by the United States do not lead to a strengthening of an atmosphere of security and stability in the region that directly adjoins Russia’s borders,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. “On the contrary, they create additional tensions.”

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Poland said the B-52s had flown to Lithuania and Poland Wednesday as part of interoperability training with NATO allies and that the planes had carried out simulated bombing runs.

“Operating out of forward locations enables collective defense capabilities and provide the U.S. and NATO the strategic and operational breadth needed to deter adversaries and assure our allies and partners,” the embassy said.

The U.S. Air Force confirmed Wednesday that B-52 crews from both RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom and Anderson Air Force Base in Guam conducted training missions in an area east of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East.

“Training with joint partners, allied nations and other U.S. Air Force units contributes to our ready and postured forces and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges,” the Air Force said in a statement.