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Colombia will send a letter of protest to Moscow after two Russian bombers entered Colombian airspace twice without authorization on Friday last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Tuesday (November 5).

According to Reuters, two Russian-made Tupolev Tu-160 bomber planes crossed Colombian airspace when they were flying from Venezuela to Nicaragua. They re-entered the Colombian airspace on their return journey but exited Colombian airspace after they were intercepted by two Colombian Kfir military jets.

Reuters quoted military sources as saying that the bombers flew from the Venezuelan coastal city of Maiquetia to Managua. They crossed Colombian airspace over the San Andres y Providencia archipelago in the Caribbean.

Russian media reported that Russia’s Ministry of Defense said the mission was carried out “in line with the combat training program” and was in line with all international norms.

According to Reuters: “last year the International Court of Justice in The Hague rejected a claim by Nicaragua to Colombian islands in the archipelago, but extended Nicaragua’s continental shelf and economic exclusion zone into waters near the islands, rich in fish and believed to have large oil reserves beneath.”

The report continues:

Colombia has rejected the court’s verdict as inapplicable and continues to exercise control over the waters, raising tensions with Nicaragua.

Russia has invested billions of dollars in OPEC-member Venezuela’s oil sector and offered it credit lines to buy Russian weapons, while Nicaragua has announced plans to buy Russian military equipment.