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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. A group of Russian military experts will perform an observation flight over the United Kingdon under international Open Skies Treaty, Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of Russia’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, said on Sunday.
"The observation flight will be performed in a period from May 15 to 19, 2017 from the Open Skies airdrome Brize Norton. The maximum range of the flight will be 2,400 kilometers," he said.
The flight will be performed onboard an An-30B plane along the route agreed upon with the British side. British specialists will be on board the plane "to monitor compliance with the provisions of the treaty," Ryzhkov added.
It will be the 15th Russian observation flight over territories of the treaty’s signatory countries in 2017.
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.