Russian Surveillance Plane Flies Over Washington

An aerial view of the Pentagon just over the river from Washington

CNN and The Washington Post reported Wednesday that a Russian surveillance plane cruised through secure airspace in D.C. and later over New Jersey as part of a longstanding diplomatic treaty.

The flight، first reported by CNN، is expected to be followed by another one Wednesday evening that flies over President Donald Trump's property in Bedminster، New Jersey، where he is vacationing. On the Russian territory, a joint mission under the Open Skies Treaty was conducted jointly by the United Kingdom and Norway.

In 2014, military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported on USA military flights over Moscow and other parts of Russian Federation to take photos of military installations and equipment.

According to flight data obtained from aircraft monitoring website Flightradar24, the Russian aircraft, a Tupolev TU-154M, took off from Dayton, Ohio, Wednesday morning.

The flights are entirely legal and sanctioned in advance by the US under the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows 34 member nations to conduct unarmed overflights over each others' territory. Per stipulations in the Open Skies Treaty, visiting aircraft are allowed to use specific wet film equipment or digital sensors to take aerial surveillance photos that are later shared with the host nation.

US military personnel were allowed on the plane for observation and the plane has the capability of gathering intelligence, one person familiar with the flight told CNN.

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'As per the treaty, we can not confirm any locations until after the mission is over.

Observation flights by member countries are allowed over the entire territory of other member states.

According to the official, Russian Federation had given the mandatory 72-hour notice before the flight.

"Any violation of the Russian airspace was prevented", the ministry said. The Washington, DC area is not excluded from this requirement.

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

The Treaty is created to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information through aerial imaging on military forces and activities of concern to them'.

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