Russia Gripes at U.S. Delay in Approving Spy Plane for Overflights

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Global Security Newswire Staff
April 23, 2014, 7:46 a.m.

Rus­si­an of­fi­cials are grous­ing at how long Wash­ing­ton is tak­ing to cer­ti­fy a new spy plane for arms-con­trol veri­fic­a­tion flights in the United States.

The ad­vanced Rus­si­an sur­veil­lance air­craft re­portedly is a cause of con­cern for Pentagon mil­it­ary brass and the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies, who worry that its di­git­al sensors will provide Mo­scow with too much ex­pli­cit de­tail about U.S. mil­it­ary cap­ab­il­it­ies. Wash­ing­ton na­tion­al-se­cur­ity of­fi­cials were pre­vi­ously re­por­ted to be in dis­agree­ment with the State De­part­ment over wheth­er to al­low the plane to con­duct Open Skies Treaty flights.

Rus­si­an for­eign min­istry spokes­man Al­ex­an­der Lukashev­ich on Monday said Wash­ing­ton was not abid­ing by the pact, the Wash­ing­ton Times re­por­ted.

“We have to state with re­gret that the Amer­ic­an side, the only of the parties to the Treaty on Open Skies, has long been ad­her­ing to a highly non-con­struct­ive po­s­i­tion on the ex­am­in­a­tion of our di­git­al ob­ser­va­tion equip­ment by put­ting forth re­quire­ments that are not provided for in the treaty,” the spokes­man said.

The Open Skies ac­cord guar­an­tees sig­nat­or­ies the right to con­duct over­flights of the ter­rit­ory of oth­er mem­ber states for the pur­poses of not­ing troop move­ments and mil­it­ary-vehicle de­ploy­ments, and for con­firm­ing that arms con­trol com­mit­ments are be­ing met.