MOSCOW, November 6 (Itar-Tass) — Air inspectors from the United States and Italy will make aerial surveillance flight over Russia's territory under the Treaty on Open Skies from November 6 through November 10, a spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
According to the spokesman, the inspectors will use the OS-135B aircraft to make these flights.
“The flights will take place along the routes coordinated by the sides. Russian specialists onboard will see to it that their American and Italian colleagues use the monitoring equipment in line with their treaty obligations,” the spokesman said.
The OS-135B aircraft is not designed to be fitted out with any armament. "The onboard technical equipment has been internationally certified, including by Russian specialists,” the spokesman said.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 and came into force in 2002. It currently has 34 member states. The treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. Observation flights are made over the territories of the United States, Canada, European countries, and Russia. The main purposes of the open skies regime are to develop transparency, render assistance in monitoring compliance with the existing or future arms control agreements, broaden possibilities for preventing crises and managing crisis situations within the scope of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and other relevant international organizations. Subsequently, it is contemplated to apply the open skies regime to new fields, such as environmental protection.