Canadian fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers 450 kilometres east of Labrador Wednesday.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay on Friday confirmed the TU-95 long-range bombers made several attempts to probe Canadian airspace.
They were met by two CF-18 fighter jets from Bagotville, Que.
MacKay said the Russians were within the 300 nautical mile buffer zone claimed by Canada, but didn't enter the country's sovereign airspace.
Reports said the fighter jets shadowed the bombers until they turned northeast and headed out of the zone.
MacKay said NORAD fighters have intercepted between 12 and 18 bombers annually since 2007.