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Pentagon sends flight over Ukraine following Russian naval incident

AFP  |  Washington 

A observation plane flew over on Thursday in a mission to show US support for following Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Sea of Azov, officials said.

The November 25 confrontation was the first open military incident between and since 2014 when annexed the Crimean peninsula and a conflict erupted in eastern

"Today, the and conducted an extraordinary flight under the Open Skies Treaty. The timing of this flight is intended to reaffirm US commitment to and other partner nations," the said in a statement.

The Open Skies Treaty is aimed at promoting military transparency through reciprocal, unarmed observation flights over each of the 34 signatory countries' terrains.

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

This was the first "extraordinary" flight under the Open Skies Treaty since 2014, the said. Such flights occur outside the schedule of normal, planned operations when unusual situations arise.

After last month's incident, took 24 Ukrainian seamen into custody. The sailors have been put before a court in Simferopol, the main city in Russian-annexed Crimea, and ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for two months.

"Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the near the is a dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity," the Pentagon said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 07 2018. 03:10 IST