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MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) — A group of Russian inspectors are to make two survey flights over Britain under the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS) within a period from July 2 to 7, an officer in the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass.
"The flights will be made by the inspectors aboard an An-30B survey plane from the Brize Norton airfield (Oxfordshire county) along earlier agreed routes, each 2,900 km long. Russian and British specilaists will jointly monitor the application of the onboard technical means of survey," the Ministry officer said.
These will be the 20th and 21sy survry flights being carried out this year by Russian inspectors over the trrritories of the states that are parties to the TOS.
Western specialists will also make a survey flight over the territory of the Russian Federation aboard a Romanian survey plane An-30. The flight will be carried out by a group of Norwegian and US inspectors from July 2 to 6.
"The An-30 plane and the onboard equipment have passed the necessary international examination procedure. The flight will be made along a route fixed with Russian specialists," the Defence Ministry officer pointed out.
The TOS was signed by 27 countries in 1992 and was ratified by all the signatory countries in 1995. The main purpose of the Open Skies regime are to develop openness and transparency, assist the monitoring of compliance with the existing or future arms-control agreements, broaden possibilities to avert crises, and settle crisis situations in accordance with the decisions of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and of a number of other international organizations. Subsequently, a possibility is envisioned to extend the Open Skies regime to new fields, such as protection of the environment.