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Commonwealth Denies Its Aircraft Violated U.S. Air Space

March 23, 1992

MOSCOW (AP) _ Two Russian bombers intercepted off western Alaska by American jet fighters last week were on a routine flight, the ITAR-Tass news agency said today.

The agency said the Tu-95 bombers, known in the West as Bears, ″were on a regular flight over neutral waters″ when they were intercepted by U.S. F-15s on Friday.

Capt. Monica Aloisio, a spokeswoman for the 11th Air Force at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, said Friday that the bombers did not enter U.S. air space.

ITAR-Tass said the Russian planes were shadowed for 21 minutes. ″No signals recognized by international regulations were given by the U.S. fliers,″ ITAR-Tass said, quoting military officials of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Such intercepts have become less common with the collapse of communism. Cmdr. Chuck Connor, a spokesman at the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., said intercepts near Alaska fell to 21 last year from 46 in 1988.

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