"The purpose of such flights is to see how various arms control agreements are being implemented, control over military activities exercised," Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council's defense and security committee, said, adding that such flights could not pose a danger to the other side, since there were no weapons on board these aircraft.
Dzhabarov also stressed that such flights are a common practice, and US aircraft also carry out observation flights over the territory of Russia, coordinated with the Defense Ministry.
"But given the anti-Russia hysteria spreading across the United States, each flight of this kind is perceived as nearly a Russian interference and an attack," the lawmaker added.
CNN reported earlier Thursday citing sources that "an unarmed Russian Air Force aircraft overflew the US Capitol, the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency and Joint Base Andrews at low altitude on Wednesday" within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 and came into effect in 2002. According to the treaty, the party states have the right to carry out surveillance flights over the territories of each other, with no limits in the areas of flight. It currently comprises 35 signatories, including the United States, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey Sweden, and other European and Asian states.