THE HILL — Russian officials want to start flying surveillance aircraft equipped with advanced digital cameras over the United States despite warnings from Washington, The Associated Press reports.
Russia on Monday will ask the Vienna-based Open Skies Consultative Commission to fly an aircraft with high-tech sensors over the U.S., a senior congressional staffer told the AP.
The U.S. and Russia are both signatories of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows unarmed observation flights over member nations out of a desire for increased transparency in military activities.
But senior U.S. intelligence and military officials are worried about Moscow taking advantage of recent advances in high-capacity cameras, according to the AP.
A State Department official told the wire service on Sunday that a Russian aircraft with a “digital electro-optical sensor” would not be certified until the summer at the earliest due to a four-month advance notification period.
The development comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine as well as divisions over Syria.