(QHA) -

The U.S. State Department says Russia’s plans to send long-range bombers on flight patrols near North America are unwarranted.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on November 13, "We don't think that there is a current situation in the western Atlantic [Ocean] and eastern Pacific [Ocean], or the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, that warrants additional flights in out-of-area territory."

Russia's TASS news agency quoted Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying on November 12 that the patrols were aimed at securing Russia’s "military presence" in these areas.

Psaki said Washington had noticed a recent spike in Russian flights "near North America" but that they do not violate international law.

Shoigu’s statement came days after NATO reported a increase in Russian military flights in European airspace recently.