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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090227.wrussia0227/BNStory/politics/home

STEVEN CHASE

Globe and Mail Update

February 27, 2009 at 10:00 AM EST

OTTAWA — A Russian military bomber came close to breaching northern Canadian airspace just prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit here last week, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said today.

Norad fighters immediately intercepted it and turned it away, he said. CF-18s took off from Cold Lake, Alta., on Feb. 18. The incident took place about 24 hours before Mr. Obama journeyed to Canada for his first foreign visit.

“They met a Russian aircraft that was approaching Canadian airspace. They sent very clear signals that the Russian aircraft was to turn around - turn tail - to its own airspace, which it did,” the minister said, speaking to reporters after a visit with Norad brass in Ottawa.

Mr. MacKay said the flight is one of an increasing number of such stunts by the Russian military planes in the North. The defence minister said he doesn't know if it was a deliberate provocation timed to cause mischief near Mr. Obama's visit, or merely a coincidence.

He noted that it happened at a time when Canada's security focus was Ottawa, in preparation for the Obama visit.

“There's no question that we have seen increased activity and this has been going on for a relatively short time. It began just a few years ago when then-President Putin ... [said] Russia was going to take a more active role in asserting itself. That apparently includes coming close to and up to Canadian airspace.”

He said the Russians have turned a deaf ear to his request for advance notice of such near incursions.

“It's not a game at all ... I have personally asked both the Russian ambassador and my counterpart [in Russia] that we are given a heads-up when this type of air traffic is to occur - and to date we have not received that kind of notice.”

Mr. MacKay said Canada will not back down from defending its Arctic territory. “I am not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of having deliberately done this during the presidential visit but it was a strong coincidence, which we met with a presence as we always do with F-18 fighter planes.”

Russian aircraft regularly probed into North American airspace during the Cold War and Canadian and American fighters routinely tracked the snoopers and escorted them back into international air space.

“They have increased [again] and for that reason it puts the emphasis back on ... our being diligent in defending our airspace and exercising that sovereignty,” Mr. MacKay said.

The Cold War era of Russian air incursions were suspended for years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but resumed in recent years as Russia pushed its claim on the Arctic and oil wealth allowed the country to spend more on its military.

U.S. General Gene Renuart said Norad fighters are able to send clear signals to Russian pilots to turn back. “There are internationally recognized visual signals - published in international flight guidelines - that we use as the principle means of communicating,” he said.

Norad broadcasts on a common radio frequency to warn off the Russians and Norad pilots also use manoeuvres such as “wagging wings” and turns to deter them from proceeding.
 

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Next time shoot the Ruskie out of the sky.

Would not be much of a fight, 82'nd and 101'st Airborne along with the Canadian military would be like taking candy from a baby.
 

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What are they thinking over there? Why are they starting sh!t, things are relatively calm in their country? I could see stuff like that happening when that Loon Putin was in office, but what is going through their minds doing this kind of idiocy now?
 

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What are they thinking over there? Why are they starting sh!t, things are relatively calm in their country? I could see stuff like that happening when that Loon Putin was in office, but what is going through their minds doing this kind of idiocy now?
He still is in office, for all practical purposes. By all accounts, he still carries a lot of power as Prime Minister - some suggest a lot more power than Russia's current president.


Maybe the pilot just wanted some maple syrup or seal meat to take home to the fam. Vodka gets old, even for Russians.
 

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Yes, on playgrounds across the nation childhood taunts are heard...

"don't make me go 1972 on your ass!"...
 

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I support the title of this thread :D
 
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