Russia Rejects German Proposal To Mediate Ukraine Naval Stand-Off

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Under the worldwide Open Skies Treaty - of which the U.S., Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and 31 other nations are a part - the Pentagon is rumored to have flown an unarmed Air Force OC-135 observation plane near Crimea, the Ukrainian region seized by Russia in a 2014 invasion.

On November 25, Russian border guard officers had to engage a weapon to stop unwarranted maneuvers of three Ukrainian ships in Russia's territorial waters in the area of Kerch Strait.

Under the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war signed on August 12, 1949, they can not be considered as prisoners of war, as Russian Federation and Ukraine are not "in a state of a military conflict or at war", he added.

Thirty-four nations are party to the treaty which allows them to gather aerial imagery and conduct surveillance on the military forces and activities of other nations.

The goal of the flight is in part to promote transparency in military activities.

The Pentagon branded the flight "extraordinary" in a statement, saying it took place under the Open Skies Treaty.

The US Department of Defence said on Thursday that the US and its allies conducted an observation flight over Ukraine earlier in the day. The transit would be another signal of military support for Ukraine.

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The Pentagon emphasized that "the timing of this flight is meant to reaffirm USA commitment and support to Ukraine and other partner nations".

The United States is required to notify Turkey under a treaty that governs the passage of military vessels from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

There were 25 US military personnel taking part in the flight, including a 17-person crew from the 55th Wing out of Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska and eight personnel from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

The Ukrainian command ship Donbass is seen moored as workers build a new terminal at the Port of Mariupol on the Azov Sea, eastern Ukraine, on December 2, 2018.

Meanwhile, a court in Crimea on Friday jailed for five days lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, who represents the commander of one of the Ukrainian ships.

The confrontation on November 25 was the first open military incident between Kiev and Moscow since 2014 and on Thursday Ukraine´s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin warned that Russia´s belligerence was a "major threat to European security".