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Russian inspectors to perform this year’s first Open Skies Treaty flights

February 10, 2014, 6:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 10, 2:33 /ITAR-TASS/. A group of Russian inspectors will perform this year's first surveillance flights, over the territory of Turkey, in line with the international Open Skies Treaty, a Russian Defense Ministry official said.

“On February 10-14, a group of inspectors will conduct monitoring flights on board a Russian An-30B aircraft from Diyarbakir airport with the maximum flight range of up to 1,500 kilometers [932 miles],” Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, told Itar-Tass.

“This is the first observation flight of the Russian Federation over the territories of the Treaty’s member states in 2014,” Ryzhkov said.

He said the flight would be conducted along an agreed route, and Turkish specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions.

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 and other international organizations.

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