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Russia to inspect Turkey, conduct observation flight over Italy

February 13, 1:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Ryzhkov, Russian experts will visit training centers and shooting ranges as well as attend briefings of the Turkish military commanders
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MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russia will conduct an inspection on Turkey’s territory as part of the Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures starting on February 13, head of the Russian National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov said. According to him, Russia also plans to carry out an observation flight over Italy.

"Between February 13 and 16, a group of Russian experts plans to inspect Turkey’s territory in accordance with the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures… An area of 18,000 square kilometers will be inspected," he said.

The Vienna Document, adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in November 2011, stipulates inspections of specific territories in order to monitor and control military activities. The document envisages up to three annual inspections.

According to Ryzhkov, Russian experts will visit training centers and shooting ranges as well as attend briefings of the Turkish military commanders.

Besides that, Russia will also conduct an observation flight over Italy on an An-30B aircraft on February 13-17. "An observation flight with a maximum range of up to 2015 kilometers will be conducted on February 13-17 from the Ciampino airfield. A Russian aircraft will conduct the flight in accordance with the route agreed on with the country’s authorities, while Italian experts aboard will control the use of surveillance equipment," Ryzhkov added.

This is the second flight to be conducted by Russia over a member state of the Treaty on Open Skies. The first flight was carried out over Greece on February 6-10. The Treaty on Open Skies is aimed at developing transparency and monitoring the fulfillment of armament control agreements in its member countries.

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