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US conducts rare overflight near Ukraine, in pointed message to Moscow



T he, American military and unnamed allies, led what the Pentagon called "an extraordinary flight" over the unchecked territory of Russian rule to send a message to Moscow, released in the United States on Thursday.

A Pentagon statement revealed few details about what kind of aircraft, how many were involved, or exactly where they flew. "The timing of this flight is intended to reaffirm the United States' commitment to Ukraine and other partner countries," the statement reads.

According to the State Department, the 2002 Open Skies Treaty establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its signatories.

The Pentagon said unarmed flights are a show of resolute support for the security of European nations.

"The unprovoked attack of Russia on Ukrainian military ships in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a dangerous escalation in an increasingly provocative and threatening pattern of activity," reads the statement.

"The United States seeks a better relationship with Russia, but this can not happen while its illegal and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere."

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