NATO Spy Plane Roamed Skies Over Siberia
09:00 07.09.2015 (updated 10:22 07.09.2015)
During the past several days, a US observation plane has been flying over Russian skies, taking photos of military installations and equipment, Russian media reported on Monday.
A Lockheed C-130H Hercules with US, French and now Ukrainian military specialists on board carried out a series of observation flights over Western Siberia from August 31 to September 4, the Sovetskyaya Sibir newspaper wrote, citing a Novosibirsk-based aerial photographer Nikolai Yenin.
“This plane has been flying circles over our cities on an absolutely legal basis… We had exactly the same thing happening here in 2013, but then there were no Ukrainians on board the NATO observation plane. This is the first time we see Ukrainians spying on us along with their Americans and French colleagues,” Nikolai said.
On September 3 the NATO plane was seen flying over Novosibirsk and the next day it was seen over Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseisk, Abakan and Kemerovo.
On September 4 the Hercules left Sovosibirsk’ Tolmachevo airport and headed towards Moscow.
Since 2002, Russia, the United States and a number of other signatories to the Treaty on Open Skies have allowed a limited number of observation flights over their turf.
International agreements set the number of flights, the type of surveillance equipment on board and airports that can be used.
This year, the US — which flies European Open Skies missions out of Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England — began flights to Siberia out of Yokota Air Base, Japan.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a military transport plane often used for surveillance missions.
In 1958 a C-130 was shot down by Soviet interceptors during a spy mission over Armenia.
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