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The Russians want “implementation of the treaty will be safeguarded against the negative impact of considerations of expediency and that its members will strictly abide by their obligations,” Lukashevich said.

U.S. intelligence officials and members of both congressional intelligence oversight committees want the Obama administration to block certification of the new Russian surveillance aircraft that are equipped with digital sensors, including advanced radar that allows the aircraft to see through structures.

The White House National Security Council (NSC) deputies committee, a group of senior security officials, met on the issue last week.

An NSC spokesman declined to comment on whether the Russian aircraft had been certified for future Open Skies flights over the United States.

The aircraft are part of a 1992 agreement among 34 nations that allows parties to the treaty to conduct intelligence-gathering flights over national territory. The treaty is a so-called confidence-building measure.

Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials are concerned the new equipment on the Russian aircraft will permit spying on new and advanced U.S. military capabilities, weapons, and facilities.

The cancellation of the flight last week coincided with the crisis over Ukraine where some 80,000 Russian troops, along with tanks and armored vehicles, are massed near Ukraine’s eastern border.

A U.S. official said the cancellation of the flight last week appeared to be part of an effort by Moscow to deny U.S. surveillance of Russian force deployments that appear being readied for a large-scale military intervention in eastern Ukraine.