Russia seeks to fly over US with high-powered digital camera

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia is seeking permission to start flying surveillance planes equipped with high-powered digital cameras amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the United States.

Russia and the United States are signatories to the Open Skies Treaty, which allows unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of all 34 member nations to foster transparency about military activity and help monitor arms control and other agreements. Senior intelligence and military officials, however, worry that Russia is taking advantage of technological advances to violate the spirit of the treaty.

A congressional staff member said Russia will on Monday formally ask the Open Skies Consultative Commission, based in Vienna, to be allowed to make the flights with the enhanced imaging equipment.