Russia's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that it carried out its first joint long-range air patrol with China in the Asia Pacific region and that it did not violate the airspace of other countries.
The ministry said in a press release that two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers and two Chinese H6-K strategic bombers flew a pre-planned route over "neutral waters" in the East Sea and East China Sea.
The Russian ministry claimed that all Russian and Chinese pilots strictly observed related international regulations and rejected Seoul's claims that one plane violated South Korean airspace two times.
According to Russia's state-run news agency TASS, Sergei Kobylash, the commander of Russia's long-range aviation forces, also denied any airspace incursions took place and instead accused South Korean pilots of performing dangerous maneuvers, calling it “aerial hooliganism.”
According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, five Russian and Chinese aircraft entered Korea's air defense zone on Tuesday.
Among the group, a Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft entered Korean airspace near the Dokdo islets twice, prompting South Korean F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets nearby to fire flares and 360 warning shots.
Japan, which claims Dokdo as its own, says it also scrambled fighter jets in response to the airspace violations and has lodged formal complaints against both Moscow and Seoul.