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Colombia Protests Violation of Airspace by Russian Bombers

Presidential Press and Information OfficeA Tu-160, the world's largest supersonic aircraft and largest combat aircraft, in flight.

Colombian authorities are sending a note of protest to Russia following the violation of the country's airspace by two Russian long-range strategic bombers, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

Santos said two Tu-160 bombers flew over Colombian territory on Friday without prior authorization after taking off from a base in neighboring Venezuela, BBC reported.

Colombian jet fighters intercepted the bombers and forced them to return to Venezuela.

According to local media, the bombers were escorting a high-ranking Russian Defense Ministry official on his visit to Venezuela, which is considered Moscow's closest political and military ally in the region. During the delegation's visit to Latin America, the Russian bombers entered Colombian airspace twice and made landings in Venezuela and Nicaragua, Santos said.

"We have instructed the Foreign Affairs Ministry to prepare a corresponding warning for the Russian government," the Colombian president said in connection to the incident.

Meanwhile the Russian Defense Ministry's press service said the strategic bombers had been performing a routine military exercise, Interfax said Tuesday.

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