Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

United States conducts 'extraordinary' observation flight to reaffirm commitment to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko leads the National Security and Defence Council meeting in Kiev Ukraine Sunday Nov. 25 2018 US preparing to sail warship into Black Sea: CNN
Pablo Mccormick | 07 December, 2018, 22:43

But the treaty permits "extraordinary", or unscheduled, flights if two participating members agree.

Thursday's flight was conducted with an agreement between Ukraine and the United States, CNN reported. Such flights occur outside the schedule of normal, planned operations when unusual situations arise.

The last time an "extraordinary" flight happened over Ukraine was after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, Pahon said.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol eastern Ukraine Monday Dec. 3 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of
U.S. Air Force sends 'observation flight' over Ukraine in solidarity and as a warning to Russia

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.

USA ships can only be in the Black Sea for 21 days under the Montreux Convention, the broadcaster said.

The complaints come three days after Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan announced that Russian Federation had "partially" unblocked Ukraine's Sea of Azov ports, allowing Ukrainian ship to pass through the Kerch Strait for the first time since November 25.

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A USA military observation plane flew over Ukraine Thursday in direct response to Russia's "unprovoked attack" on Ukrainian Navy ships and sailors near the Kerch Strait last month, which the Defense Department described in a statement on Thursday as a "dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity".

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 Pentagon said the Ukrainian military had requested the flight, which was on an OC-135 surveillance plane and had observers from the US, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Romania and Ukraine aboard.

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A Chinese official told Reuters that officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details. He added that Xi has sought to control the Indo-Pacific region, where the US previously had significance.

"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", the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday.

The flight, requested by the Arms Control Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff, is the latest United States response to Russia's military activity across the world.

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

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