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Russia Wants to Fly More Spy Planes Over the U.S., and the Pentagon Can't Stop It

MULTIZ321

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Russia Wants to Fly More Spy Planes Over the U.S., and the Pentagon Can't Stop It - by Dan Lamothe/ News/ CheckPoint/ The Washington Post/ washingtonpost.com

"Russia filed a request Monday to fly a spy plane carrying advanced digital cameras over the United States. The move presents the United States with a dilemma: How does Washington respond at a time when Moscow and Washington are at odds over Syria and Ukraine and senior U.S. defense officials have identified Russia as the No. 1 existential threat to America?

It would be complicated for the United States to block Russia’s request. The Treaty on Open Skies, which was first approved in 1992 and went into effect in 2002, allows signatories to fly unarmed aircraft carrying video and still cameras, infrared scanning devices and certain forms of radar over the territory of other treaty members. Inspections are carried out to make sure the cameras used meet the terms of treaty and are not too powerful.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday that the treaty, which was ratified by the Senate, helps prevent any misinterpretation of military action that could lead to armed conflict..."

imrs.php

In this March 27, 2008, file photo, the Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)


Richard
 

MULTIZ321

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Russia Wants to Fly Over US with Advanced Digital Camera - by Deb Reichmann/ Associated Press/ AP/ apnewsarchive.com

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia will ask permission on Monday to start flying surveillance planes equipped with high-powered digital cameras amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the United States.

Russia and the United States are signatories to the Open Skies Treaty, which allows unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of all 34 member nations to foster transparency about military activity and help monitor arms control and other agreements. Senior intelligence and military officials, however, worry that Russia is taking advantage of technological advances to violate the spirit of the treaty.

Russia will formally ask the Open Skies Consultative Commission, based in Vienna, to be allowed to fly an aircraft equipped with high-tech sensors over the United States, according to a senior congressional staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the staff member wasn't authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

The request will put the Obama administration in the position of having to decide whether to let Russia use the high-powered equipment on its surveillance planes at a time when Moscow, according to the latest State Department compliance report, is failing to meet all its obligations under the treaty. And it comes at one of the most tension-filled times in U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with the two countries at odds over Russian activity in Ukraine and Syria..."

CBImages

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end of year news conference in Moscow, Russia. Russia will ask permission on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, to start flying surveillance planes equipped with high-powered digital cameras amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the United States. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Richard
 
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