MOSCOW, April 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian military inspectors will make an observation flight over the United States on April 8-16.
The flight will be made aboard a Tu-154M Lk-1 plane under the Treaty on Open Sky, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday, April 7.
“Russian and American specialists abroad the plane will monitor the use of equipment and surveillance systems in accordance with effective arrangements. This will be the eighth observation flight made by Russian officials in 2012 over the territories of the Treaty member states,” the ministry said.
Russia signed the Treaty on Open Skies on March 24, 1992. Thirty-four OSCE member states have joined the treaty. They are allowed to make observation flights over the each other’s territories to monitor military activities in order to strengthen interstate trust in the field of arms control.
The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002. It establishes a programme of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them.
The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.