(CNN) – Two U.S. jets intercepted six Russian planes that neared U.S. airspace off Alaska on Thursday and Canadian planes intercepted two Russian bombers that approached Canadian airspace, NORAD reported.
A U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr that officials in Washington think the incidents were related to the visit by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who talked to Canadian officials Wednesday and President Barack Obama on Thursday. The United States promised Ukraine $46 million in nonlethal aid for its battle with pro-Russian militants.
The Russian aircraft flew within about 55 nautical miles of the Alaskan coastline and about 40 nautical miles of the Canadian coastline, said Capt. Jeff Davis of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD.