By Douglas Ernst
A top Russian official said Wednesday the country plans on conducting patrols with its bombers that extend into the Gulf of Mexico.
“In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday in Moscow, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Shoigu’s remarks were in response to accusations by NATO that Russia was once again sending military personnel into Ukraine.
The Russian official did not provide specifics on the patrols, but said planes will conduct “reconnaissance missions to monitor foreign powers’ military activities and maritime communications,” AP reported.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told AP he would not characterize Russia’s actions as a provocation, as the nation has a right to operate in international airspace.