The flight of two Russian TU-95 Bear bombers near the Canadian border last month on the eve of President Obama’s visit to Canada clearly irked the Canadian government. “I am not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of having deliberately done this during the Presidential visit, but it was a strong coincidence,” said Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay Feb. 27, reports USA Today. According to a NORAD release, the two Bears approached Canada’s Northwest Territories on Feb. 18, causing the command to scramble two Canadian Forces CF-18s from Alberta and two USAF F-15s from Alaska to identify the bombers visually. NORAD said the Russian aircraft remained in international airspace at all times and never entered sovereign Canadian or American airspace. All of the NORAD fighters returned to base without incident. MacKay said the CF-18 pilots “sent a strong signal” that the Russians should back off.