Pentagon reveals U.S. observation flight over Ukraine

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2018

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

The United States is not discussing the possibility of a military response to the recent naval flare-up in the Kerch Strait, the highest-ranking USA military officer said on Thursday. But the treaty also permits 'extraordinary, ' or extra, flights if two participating members agree.

Normally these flights are scheduled well in advance.

The last time the U.S. carried out a similar military exercise was after the Russian invasion of Ukraine four years ago, United States defence official said.

The U.S. has notified Turkey of the plan, which is part of the required process, U.S. officials said. The most recent was the fast transport ship USNS Carson City, in September.

"Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a unsafe escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity", he added.

It cited three USA officials it did not name as saying the move was a response to Russia's actions against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

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He went on to say that during the operation, the Ukrainian vessels threatened to use force against Russian coastguard ships and set their weapons on standby. Since then, Washington has sought to show its support for Ukraine while condemning Russian actions.

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.

The Pentagon says a US Air Force plane flew a special observation flight over Ukraine in a show of solidarity after Ukraine's naval confrontation with Russian Federation.

The US Air Force OC-135 observation plane was flown near Crimea, the Ukrainian region seized by Russian Federation in 2014, the Pentagon said.

The "extraordinary" nature of this flyover is in the fact that it was requested by the arms control directorate of the General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces.

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

Pahon said the observation plane left a base near Washington on November 30 and flew in Ukrainian airspace after a stop in Germany.

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