Russia's testing of its long-range bombers was not a precursor to a new Cold War, the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov as saying Thursday.
"There is nothing aggressive about it," said Ivanov concerning the bomber, adding that Moscow was defending only its economic interests and providing more exercise for its pilots.
Ivanov is considered a possible successor to President Vladimir Putin in the presidential election set for March 2008.
Putin based the renewed flights of the bomber after 15 years on the "growing threat by other countries."
"We keep to the same rules in the flights as our American partner," said Ivanov in a visit to the Siberian coal-mining area Kusbass. Russia will fly according to international law and will breach no territorial borders, he said.
According to military sources, during the bombers' continuous patrol the bomber will fly over the Atlantic and the Pacific fully armed, but with no nuclear weapons. The crew were flying in different regions of the world to monitor areas in which Russian ships are located.
With the exception of individual exercises, Moscow cancelled the flights after the end of the Cold War - the term given to the standoff between the West and the former Soviet Union - in 1992.
Washington reacted calmly to the decision to renew the flights.
Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2007, 19:07