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Russian inspectors to perform observation flights over Spain, Portugal

February 29, 9:23 UTC+3
This will be the fourth and fifth observation flights by Russia over the territories of the Open Skies Treaty members in 2016
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An-30B aircraft

An-30B aircraft

© ITAR-TASS/Lyudmila Pakhomova

MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. Russian inspectors will perform observation flights over the territory of Spain and Portugal on board an An-30B aircraft within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said.

"The surveillance flights with the maximum range of up to 1,200 and 1,800 kilometers correspondingly will be performed on February 29 - March 3, 2016, from Lisbon Airport [Portugal] and Getafe Air Base [Spain]," chief of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergey Ryzhkov said.

He said the flight would be conducted along an agreed route, and Italian specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions.

This will be the fourth and fifth observation flights by Russia over the territories of the Open Skies Treaty members in 2016.

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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