Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, declared yesterday that his government would send a letter to the Russian government denouncing the violation of Colombia’s airspace by two Russian military planes.
“The situation is the following: on Friday [1st November] two Russian military planes flew from Venezuela to Nicaragua over Colombian airspace. As they are military planes belonging to the State, they should have asked for permission, but they did not. We have asked the chancellor’s office to write a letter to the Russian government concerning this incident,” said President Santos who added that, on their return trip, the two planes once again entered Colombian airspace without permission.
“They were detected by our intelligence planes and, as they were in our airspace, they were intercepted by two Kfir planes.”
The two Tupolev-160 planes, which generally carry nuclear cargo and are considered to be some of the most technologically advanced Russian planes, entered Colombian airspace on Friday at around 11am local time. Although the exact coordinates of their location when they were detected have not been revealed, it is thought that they were detected by radars on the San Andrés Island and intercepted by two Colombian military planes 80 miles north of the city of Barranquilla.
On Monday, Moscow’s Defense Minister declared that two Tupolev-160 planes flew over the coast of Norway, Iceland, and the United Kingdom and landed in Maiquetía in Venezuela. After carrying out a series of technical checks the planes flew over the Caribbean sea and landed in Managua, Nicaragua. The Russian government ensured that “all Airforce flights strictly comply with international laws concerning airspace”.
It is thought that the Tupolev 160s arrived in Venezuela on Wednesday 30th October for an exhibition as part of the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nicolai Patrichek’s, official visit to Caracas and Managua.