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Russian inspectors to hold observation flight over Turkey

October 24, 2016, 2:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An observation flight with the maximum range of up to 1,900 kilometers will be fulfilled on October 24-28 with the use of the Eskisehir air base

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© Boris Kavashkin/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. A Russian group of inspectors plans to perform an observation flight on board an An-30B aircraft above Turkish territory, which was canceled by Ankara in February, on October 24-28 as part of implementation of the Open Skies Treaty, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said.

"An observation flight with the maximum range of up to 1,900 kilometers will be fulfilled on October 24-28 with the use of the Eskisehir air base," acting chief of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergey Zabello said.

"The Russian aircraft will conduct the flight in line with the route coordinated with the observed side, and Turkish specialists on board will control the procedure of using surveillance equipment and observation of provisions envisioned by the Treaty," Zabello said.

The flight will be conducted instead of the planned flight in February 2016, when Turkey denied Russian military inspectors flight on its territory agreed for February 1-5.

The country’s Foreign Ministry explained it by the fact that the countries failed to agree on the route of flight. Russia said Ankara had no right to deny the flight.

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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