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Buzz Barometer: Military Jets' Sorties Send Ripples Across English Channel
February 23, 2015 21:35

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Russia has responded to the UK’s concerns over its military jets’ sorties along the British coast.
In a letter to the editor of The Daily Telegraph, Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian ambassador to the UK, laments the fuss the British media and officials raised over what he claims is ‘ordinary practice’ ‘required for personnel training and to verify aircraft capabilities’.
“Russian planes do regularly fly to remote geographical areas and will continue to do so,” runs the message published on the embassy’s website.
Earlier, The Daily Telegraph posted an interview with Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, where he indicated it was "the first time since the height of the Cold War, it’s the first time that’s happened”.
Mr Fallon also said there is a “real and present danger” that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, will launch a campaign of undercover attacks to destabilise the Baltic states on Nato’s eastern flank. He said he might try to test Nato’s resolve with the same Kremlin-backed subversion used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Yakovenko insists “all flights are carried out in strict accordance with international regulations” and that the aircraft “are often accompanied by jets from Nato countries and their partners.”
“Military activity by Nato aircraft at Russian borders is far more intense, having doubled since early 2014 and reaching 3,000 sorties that year,” he adds.
“By way of comparison, Russian reconnaissance aircraft carried out just over 200 sorties over the Baltic Sea area from March to December 2014, compared to 125 over the same period in 2013,” the envoy goes on to say.
According to The Daily Telegraph, David Cameron said Moscow appeared to be "trying to make some sort of a point".
"I don't think we should dignify it with too much of a response," he added.

Yakovenko points to the overblown response warning that ‘the growing disparity between the actual situation and the official rhetoric of some Western leaders is not helpful for restoring trust, which is probably the main victim of the current crisis in relations between Russia and the West.’ 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Buzz Barometer Russia International    

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