“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.
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.