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Turkey, Norway inspectors to make observation flights over Russia

October 01, 2012, 12:26 UTC+3

At present, the observation flights are performed over the territory of Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries

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MOSCOW, October 1 (Itar-Tass) — Inspectors of Turkey and Norway in the period from October 1 to 5 will make observation flights over the territory of Russia within the framework of the International Treaty on Open Skies, The RF Defence Ministry’s press service told Itar-Tass.

“The flights will be performed on the Turkish observation plane CN-235,” the ministry specified.

The Defence Ministry said that that the flights will be performed on the routes approved by Russian experts who on board the plane will control the compliance with the agreements on the use of surveillance equipment.

The plane and surveillance equipment installed on it (aerial surveying cameras and video cameras) have passed the required international certification with the participation of Russian representatives, which excludes the use of technical equipment that is not provided for in the Treaty on Open Skies.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992. Its signatories are 34 states. At present, the observation flights are performed over the territory of Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries. A total of more than 800 flights have been performed by the states since the moment the treaty came into force.

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. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.

The main objective of the ‘open skies’ regime is the development of openness and transparency, assistance to monitoring the implementation of existing or future agreements on arms control and enhancement of the crisis prevention and crisis management possibilities within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and other relevant international organisations. In the future, the possibility of expanding the ‘open skies’ regime to new spheres such as environmental protection is envisaged.

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