MOSCOW, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Two U.S. F-22 fighters escorted Russia's Tu-95MS strategic bombers and Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft when they were on a routine flight Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.
Accompanied by MiG-31 and Su-35 fighters, the Russian jets flew over the neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk and conducted re-fueling in the air, the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
The U.S. F-22 fighters escorted the Russian aircraft for 40 minutes and kept a distance of over 100 meters, he said in a statement.
"All flights are carried out in strict accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace, without violating the borders of other countries," he added.
According to CNN reports, U.S. military confirmed the escort in a statement, saying two Alaska-based F-22 fighters "intercepted and visually identified the Russian bombers."
The U.S. statement also said that the Russian aircraft never entered U.S. airspace.