Russian surveillance jet flies over White House, US Capitol and Pentagon

Russian military spy jet flies over DC, New Jersey

The flight was carried out in the framework of the open skies Treaty between the two countries.

The plane had USA military officials on board as it flew over the Pentagon, the Capitol and other government buildings in the Washington, D.C. area.

According to the channel, the Russian plane was granted permission to enter a top secret area of the airspace in the area of the White house.

The plane was due to make a second flight later on Wednesday over Bedminster, New Jersey, where U.S. President Donald Trump is vacationing, CNN reported. According to the Pentagon, the flights are conducted by unarmed observation aircraft equipped with certain types of film and sensors that are certified under the treaty.

Earlier it was reported that the Russian aircraft observations Tu-154M LK-1 will perform an observation flight over the United States 7 - 12 August. After each flight, the host nation gets a copy of any imagery taken by the observation aircraft. "We put together the flight plan and with a few exceptions - safety-wise or weather-wise - they are allowed to fly over pretty much the entire territory". "It's a mutually agreed process".

The flyby, however, was completely legal and in accordance with the 1992 Treaty on Open Skies, which lets countries that are part of the agreement to surveil the other member countries from the air, Politico reported, citing the State Department. The main purposes of the open skies regime are to develop transparency, render assistance in monitoring compliance with the existing or future arms control agreements, broaden possibilities for preventing crises and managing crisis situations within the scope of the Organizations for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other relevant global organizations. That includes flights over Washington D.C. through what is normally secure airspace above national security landmarks that is always off-limits to American civilian aircraft.

Dan Gaffney, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said he could not confirm the path of the plane until its mission was over.

Senior U.S. intelligence and military officials have expressed concern that Russian Federation is taking advantage of technological advances to violate the spirit of the treaty. "Whenever I mention that Russians fly aircraft over the US taking pictures, it blows people's minds".

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