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US, Canadian inspectors to perform observation flight over Russia

February 29, 8:42 UTC+3
During the flight, which will be performed along an agreed route, Russian specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of Open Skies Treaty provisions
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ALFREDO ALDAI

MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. A joint mission of inspectors from the United States and Canada plans to perform an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation in the framework of the international Open Skies Treaty, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday.

The flight will take place February 29 - March 5 on board an American Boeing OC-135B aircraft from the Novy airfield in Khabarovsk, chief of the ministry’s national Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergey Ryzhkov told TASS.

During the flight, which will be performed along an agreed route, Russian specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions, Ryzhkov said.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and has 34 member states. It entered into force in 2002. Surveillance flights are conducted over Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries.

The key tasks of the treaty are to develop transparency, monitor the fulfillment of armament control agreements, and expand capabilities to prevent crises in the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.

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