A Pentagon official has announced that the US military is conducting a surveillance flight over Russia as part of a 17-year-old international agreement designed to build up confidence through opening the skies of the two countries to mutual observation.
The flight is being conducted under the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, an international accord aimed at promoting military transparency through reciprocal, unarmed observation flights over each of the 34 member countries.
“The United States is conducting an Open Skies Treaty observation flight over Russia beginning Friday, February 22, and ending Saturday, February 23,” said Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis.
“Russia is aware of the flight,” Davis said. “Six Russian Federation observers are on board the US aircraft to monitor all phases of the flight.”
The flight is being carried out with a “treaty-certified OC-135B aircraft and cameras,” the official said, adding that it was the…