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MOSCOW, May 13 (Itar-Tass) - British inspectors will perform an observation flight over Russia under the Open Skies Treaty, a spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday.
“A group of British specialists will perform an observation flight over Russian onboard a Swedish SAAB-340 plane in the period from May 13 to May 17. The flight will be performed under the Open Skies Treaty,” the spokesman said.
According to the spokesman, the plane and its equipment have passed the required international certification with the participation of Russian representatives. The flights will be performed along the route agreed upon with Russian specialists, who will on board the plane monitor compliance with the regulations and agreements on the use of surveillance technology.
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.