March 18, 2019 / 4:00 PM / in a month

Russia decides to deploy nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Crimea: RIA

FILE PHOTO: A Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber drops bombs during the Aviadarts competition, part of the International Army Games 2018, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has decided to deploy nuclear-capable Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bombers to the Crimean peninsula in response to the U.S. rolling out missile defense systems in Romania, the RIA news agency cited a senior Russian lawmaker as saying on Monday.

Russia plans to station the bombers at the Gvardeyskoye air base in Crimea, Viktor Bondarev, head of the upper house of parliament’s defense and security committee, was quoted as saying.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and President Vladimir Putin flew into the Black Sea peninsula on Monday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the annexation.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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