Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Ukraine latest: United States plane swoops on Russian Federation in 'extraordinary flight'

US preparing to sail warship into Black Sea: CNN U.S. Air Force sends 'observation flight' over Ukraine in solidarity and as a warning to Russia
Melinda Barton | 08 December, 2018, 19:02

The official objective of the Treaty is to promote transparency in military activities - but in this case it seems to have been carried out to show support to Ukraine as tensions keep growing with the Kremlin.

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

Normally these flights are arranged well in advance. The transit would be another signal of military support for Ukraine. But the treaty also permits 'extraordinary, ' or extra, flights if two participating members agree.

On Tuesday, a senior U.S. State Department official warned that Moscow must release the Ukrainian sailors or face growing consequences.

The statement refers to the recent clash between Russian ships and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Sea of Azov.

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.

"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". Since then, Washington has sought to show its support for Ukraine while condemning Russian actions.

A U.S. Air Force OC-135B observation aircraft flew over Ukraine with U.S., Canadian, German, French, United Kingdom, Romanian and Ukrainian observers on board, the Pentagon told Business Insider in an emailed statement.

The Pentagon condemned Russia's actions, adding the timing of the flight was intended "to reaffirm USA commitment to Ukraine and other partner nations" and that the U.S.is "resolute" in its support of the security of European nations.

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

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. It flew from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to Ramstein air base in Germany on November 30 and flew over Ukraine on Thursday, he said.