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CHITA, November 1 (Itar-Tass) - The U.S. airliner Boeing, which had made observation flights over Russia under the Treaty of Open Skies, has made an unscheduled landing in the city of Chita, East Siberia, on Wednesday, and will leave the air harbour of the Siberian city at 14:30 local time (08:30 Moscow time, 04:30 GMT) on Friday. The directorate of the airport permitted the departure, receiving the money for the fuel, representative of the airport’s directorate Sergei Kostin told Itar-Tass.
“Finally, the money for the lubricants and fuels were transferred to us. The airport fees will be earmarked soon. The fuelling of the airliner Boeing will begin at about 12:00 local time (06:00 Moscow time),” Kostin added.
The airport noted that the U.S. airplane will depart for Ulan-Ude. However, according to the office of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Chita, the airplane will fly to the United States.
The airliner, which flied to the airport Ulan-Ude, landed in Trans-Baikal Territory at about 12:00 local time (06:00 Moscow time) on Wednesday over the fog in Buryatia. The airliner Boeing was not permitted to leave the airport of the Trans-Baikal capital over the failure to pay the bills.
The airliner is carrying 30 people, including the crew. “We met them halfway, provided the accommodation and hot meals. They have spent two nights at the airport,” official of the Russian Foreign Ministry Aleksey Kotelnikov said.
In his words, according to the terms of the Treaty of Open Skies, the Boeing passengers do not have the right to leave the Chita airport. They can pass the border controls only at two Russian airports - Kubinka and Ulan-Ude. Kotelnikov stated that the office of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Chita is following the situation and is informing the leadership of the ministry about it. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry is keeping in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Russia.
The Treaty of Open Skies was signed in 1992. The treaty brings together 34 countries. The observation flights are made over Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries. The main tasks of the Open Skies regime are the development of transparency, assistance to the observation of the fulfilment of the agreements over arms control, broader capabilities to avert crises and settle critical situations within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.