USA military carries out Open Skies flight over Ukraine

USA military carries out Open Skies flight over Ukraine

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.

The Open Skies Treaty allows signatory states to gather information about the military activities of other member countries. The observation flight was requested under the Open Skies Treaty by the Arms Control Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff. Such flights occur outside the schedule of normal, planned operations when unusual situations arise.

This was the first "extraordinary" flight under the Open Skies Treaty since 2014, the Pentagon said.

The United States has begun making preparations to sail a warship into the Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions, CNN has reported.

The U.S. has notified Turkey of the plan, which is part of the required process, U.S. officials said.

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In a statement on Thursday, Russia's defense ministry mocked the passage, claiming the ship never entered waters claimed by Russia and expressing "puzzlement at the rhetorical feat of the representatives of the U.S. Navy". The most recent was the fast transport ship USNS Carson City, in September.

On November 25, Russian Federation and Ukraine had a naval clash near Kerch Strait.

"The timing of this flight is meant to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Ukraine and other partner nations", Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told CNN.

"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". "The United States seeks a better relationship with Russian Federation, but this can not happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere".

Observers from the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Romania, and Ukraine were aboard the flight, which departed from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on November 30, traveling to Ramstein Air Base in Germany before flying over Ukraine.

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