U.S. Air Force performed extraordinary flight over Ukraine

Presidential Administration press office

Presidential Administration press office

An unarmed U.S. Air Force plane with American and global observers flew a special flight over Ukraine Thursday in a show of solidarity after Ukraine's naval confrontation last month with Russian Federation in the Black Sea, the Pentagon said.

"Today, the United States and Allies conducted an extraordinary flight under the Open Skies Treaty", the Pentagon release said.

He said the flight was requested by the arms control directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff.

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"The timing of this flight is meant to reaffirm US commitment to Ukraine and other partner nations", the Pentagon said. Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a risky escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity. The Russian vessels rammed and fired upon three Ukrainian ships before capturing the ships and their crews.

The Ukraine requested the flight under the treaty that is an worldwide accord giving each member country the right to conduct, and the obligation to accept, unarmed military observation flights.

Russia, a signatory to the treaty, would have to approve a normal flight as part of a larger package that also includes the proposed flights of all 34 parties to the treaty.

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An OC-135B Open Skies aircraft takes flight on August 13, 2015, at Offutt AFB, Neb. The guided-missile destroyer USS McCambell conducted the operation, the first in this area since the Cold War, Wednesday, challenging Russia near the headquarters of the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet.

The Pentagon has reportedly asked the State Department to inform Turkey that it planned to send a warship to the Black Sea. Through a statement, the Navy said that the maneuver was a way "to challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by the United States and other nations", NBC News reported.

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