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US and British military personnel stranded in Siberia after surveillance plane grounded

By The Siberian Times reporter
31 October 2013

Russians say the plane remains in Chita for second day because of dispute over airport fees.

On humanitarian grounds, a room with amenities and a hot meal were provided for the crew at Chita airport. Picture: chita.ru

The US aircraft was making a routine surveillance flight over Siberia as part of the Open Skies Treaty. On board are 30 military personnel, believed to be from both the US and Britain, say Russian media accounts. The aircraft has been due to land in Ulan-Ude but was forced down in Chita early on Thursday because of heavy fog.

'The plane will not leave Chita until the crew pays the technical service and refuelling bills,' said Alexei Turskov, of Chita airport. 'There are 15 people on the Boeing. They spent the night in the cabin,' he said. 

It was not immediately clear if others had left the aircraft to be given accommodation at the southern Siberian airport.

The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on 1 January 2002, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the treaty in May 2001. One RIA Novosti report said the crew of the Boeing aircraft were undergoing migration and border control.

Foreign observation planes flying over Russia have the right to land at only two airports in the country: one in Moscow Region, and one outside the Siberian city of Ulan Ude, said the news agency. On humanitarian grounds, a room with amenities and a hot meal were provided for the crew at Chita airport. There was no immediate comment from the US or British authorities.

Comments (3)

@Patrick

Nailed it.
Andy Dean, Moscow
02/11/2013 21:48
2
0
Nobody on board has a credit card? This is too funny.
Mara Mai, USA
02/11/2013 04:51
1
1
These Countries can't complain about having to pay the fuel bill or any technical service fees to the Russian authorities .
Both these countries have conspired with other western countries to treat the citizens of russia as though they have no morals of honesty and integrity.
Many russians unawarely apply for TR visa's at these Embassies only to be denied Visas after their hard earned roubles have been taken from them.

The reasons given are vague ,ambiguous and discriminatory, in other words most visa' applications are doomed before they are scrutinised. "Elements of Concern" are used extensively ,oppressively as a reason for refusal by these Foreign Embassies.
These elements of concern are "TOP SECRET " hence can't be revealed !. So the unwary russian citizens are left with a scars on their character for life.

However, the most insidious ,sleazy ,devious part of these visa processes is the use of russian staff to "sign off" on these refusals, Yes they are coerced and forced to sign these refusals or suffer the consequences of "quietly " losing their jobs.

So russian authorities do not hesitate to recoup all those "stolen roubles "It's called Tit for Tat in the Western World. okay Patrick Travers
patrick , perth Aust
01/11/2013 14:51
3
1
1

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