Vladimir Putin called Obama to wish him a Happy 4th of July. But also on the 4th, U.S. Jets were scrambled twice to intercept Russian planes as they came close to – but not into – US airspace near Alaska and California. It appears that Putin likes to jerk America’s chain a little bit.
Russian planes snooping near the US?
Fox News wrote:
The first incident occurred at 10:30 a.m. ET on July 4 off the coast of Alaska, Fox News is told. Two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled from their base in Alaska to intercept two Tupolev Tu-95 long-range strategic bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
The second incident occurred at 11:00 a.m. ET also on July 4, off the central coast of California. Two F-15s from an undisclosed location were scrambled to intercept another pair of Tu-95 Bear bombers.
NORAD would not confirm if the Russian aircraft were armed, although they have that capability.
Putin playing nice?
Putin’s phone call was the second one in as many weeks- the first occurring on June 25. The “Happy 4th of July” call prompted the Kremlin to issue a statement that stated in part:
“In his message of congratulations, the Russian President noted that, despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security.”
That statement is an understatement. The US and Europe have applied severe economic sanctions to Russia in the wake of the Ukraine Crisis. But it’s really a wonder that Russia stayed in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran considering the cold relations with the United States lately. It has been obvious for some time that Putin and Obama don’t like each other very much…if at all.
So what is Putin up to?
On July 4, 2013, Russian planes did a similar thing. Is this the Russian version of a flying demonstration in celebration of Independence Day? Or just a mission to monitor what’s happening in the United States? OH, and another thing- those Bear Bombers? They’re nuclear capable. Just sayin’. Things that make you go hmmm.