Russian nuclear-capable bombers reportedly flew close to Japan on Wednesday for the first time in almost three months.
Two U.S. officials told Fox News that three Russian Tu-95 planes, also known as “Bear” bombers, and a spy plane flew over the Sea of Japan after taking off from the Ukrainka airfield in eastern Russia.
According to the report, the aircraft remained in international airspace.
One official told Fox News that the bombers were “clearly meant to send a message.”
Moscow's evident show of force comes in the wake of increasing tensions in eastern Asia as well as strained bilateral relations between U.S. and Russia.
The move also comes during Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow on Wednesday, a first official visit to Russia by a Cabinet member since President Trump's inauguration.
The Kremlin last week deployed a missile-armed frigate to the Mediterranean Sea in response to the U.S.'s move to launch a missile strike against a Syrian airbase last Thursday.