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OTTAWA - Moscow and Ottawa are engaged in a war of words after Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced Friday that Canadian and U.S. fighter jets intercepted a Russian bomber and signalled it to "turn tail" over the high Arctic on the eve of American President Barack Obama's visit.
MacKay suggested the timing of the incident was suspect, but the Russians called the flight routine and indicated they were baffled by the fuss.
The announcement Friday morning of the Feb. 18 encounter raised questions about why MacKay chose to highlight it. Norad said there have been about 20 such aerial contacts between Russian and American or Canadian planes since 2007.
The Russian Defence Ministry was categoric.