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Open Skies Russian inspectors to fly over Spain

March 16, 2014, 3:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 16, /ITAR-TASS/. A group of Russian inspectors will fly an observation mission over Spain within the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies, the head of the National Nuclear Threat Reduction Center, Sergei Ryzhkov, told Tass on Saturday. The flight will be made on an Antonov-30B observation aircraft, he said.

“The observation flight will be made between March 16 and 22 from ‘Open Skies’ Getafe Airfield with a maximum range of up to 1,800 kilometers,” he added. Observation flights are made to promote bigger openness and transparency in the military activity of the states participants in the treaty, as well as to strengthen security through confidence building.

According to Ryzhkov, the Russian plane will make its flight on the itinerary coordinated with Spain, while Spanish specialists on board will control the use of the observation equipment and compliance with treaty provisions.

“This is the fourth observation flight of Russian inspectors over countries signatories to the treaty in 2014,” he noted. The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992, and brings together 34 countries. Observation flights are made over Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries. The main aims of the Open Skies are growth of transparency, control over the implementation of agreements on arms control, broader possibilities of crisis prevention and settlement of crisis situations within the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other international organizations.

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