THE US scrambled F-22 fighter jets and moved a carrier strike group to front up Russian war games ahead of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.
The two leaders are set to meet in Geneva for a conversation for the first time since Biden was sworn in as president in January.
A US carrier strike group headed by the USS Vinson was operating about 200 miles east of Hawaii[/caption]
The US sent fighter jets to respond to bomber flights[/caption]
In response to the Russian Navy conducting what officials called its largest exercise in the Pacific Ocean since the end of the Cold War, US defense officials on Sunday said that the US scrambled F-22s from Hawaii.
Russia’s exercise, which took place about 300-500 miles west of Hawaiian shores, included surface ships, anti-submarine aircraft, and long-range bombers.
The US reportedly sent the fighter jets to respond to the bomber flights, but the bombers didn’t enter the Air Defense Identification Zone and were not intercepted.
US officials also said a US carrier strike group headed by the USS Vinson was operating about 200 miles east of Hawaii.
That exercise was planned, but moved a bit closed to Hawaii in response to Russia’s military activity.
Biden is set to meet with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday[/caption]
The two leaders will discuss several major issues[/caption]
US Indo-Pacific Command spokesman Captain Mike Fafka said the US is ‘monitoring Russian vessels’[/caption]
“U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is monitoring the Russian vessels operating in international waters in the Western Pacific,” US Indo-Pacific Command spokesman Captain Mike Kafka told CBS News.
“We operate in accordance with international law of the sea and in the air to ensure that all nations can do the same without fear or contest and in order to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
On Tuesday, Russia released footage of its “Dagger” rocket and air defense missile system being unleashed from a nuclear-powered missile cruiser in the Barents Sea.
Putin has this year ordered a succession of military exercises across Russia’s eleven time zones amid the highest tension between East and West since the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago.
In another move bound to unease Western governments, Russia is due to stage a new test of its deadly new Zircon hypersonic missile.
Russia released footage of its ‘dagger’ rocket[/caption]
The Zircon – or Tsirkon – is a 6,100mph “unstoppable” cruise missile that is on track to be used by the Russian military next year.
Putin sees the lethal Mach 8 Zircon as his weapon of choice to target American cities in the event of a nuclear conflict, it has been reported.
The military maneuver comes as Putin and Biden are set to discuss a range of issues on Wednesday.
The pair are expected to talk about US concerns on Russian saber-rattling on the Ukrainian border, the imprisonment of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, and Putin’s support for Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.
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Washington has repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 and 2020 US elections.
Earlier this year, Biden blacklisted six Russian technology companies for “carrying out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 US presidential election, and other acts of disinformation and interference.”
However, Putin called for the US and Russia to work together to fight cyberattacks, saying: “It is our great hope that we will be able to set up this process with our US partners.”