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techkenyot.com March 18, 2019


US military carries out Open Skies flight over Ukraine

08 December 2018, 07:00 | Glen Norman

US military carries out Open Skies flight over Ukraine

US military carries out Open Skies flight over Ukraine

Fitted with high-tech observation equipment, the plane was tasked with gathering information about the military forces and activities of Russian Federation. Such flights occur outside the schedule of normal, planned operations when unusual situations arise.

The Pentagon branded the flight "extraordinary" in a statement, saying it took place under the Open Skies Treaty.

Thursday's flight was conducted with an agreement between Ukraine and the United States, CNN reported.

The treaty "promotes openness and transparency in military activities through reciprocal, unarmed observation flights", Pahon said.

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Under the treaty, countries that do not have a coastline on the Black Sea must notify Turkey at least 15 days prior to transiting, according to CNN. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss future ship movements.

On Wednesday the US Navy sent its USS McCampbell, a guided missile destroyer, through the Sea of Japan, "in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay", the Navy said. The most recent was the fast transport ship USNS Carson City, in September.

The Kerch Strait is the only passage to and from the Black Sea and the inland Sea of Azov, which is jointly controlled by Russian Federation and Ukraine. Since then, Washington has sought to show its support for Ukraine while condemning Russian actions.

"The timing of this flight is meant to reaffirm United States commitment to Ukraine and other partner nations", the Pentagon said in a statement.

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"Vessels make their way to the entrance and exit through the Kerch Strait toward Ukrainian ports", Omelyan said on December 4, adding that all Ukrainian ships "are stopped and inspected by Russian Federation as before, but the traffic has been partially restored".

Russia's State Duma Deputy Dmytro Belik commented on the claim of Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak that the Ukrainian Navy would continue using the Kerch Strait, RT reports. He said the flight was requested by the arms control directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff.

Pahon said the plane had 17-member crew from the 55th Wing based at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

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