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Ukrainian observers to make inspection flight over western Russia

March 17, 2014, 20:04 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, March 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian observers are planning to make an inspection flight over western regions of Russia between March18 and March 21, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yevgen Perebyinis said on Monday, March 17.

He told journalists last week that Ukraine could not make a previous observation flight because of the stringent financial conditions put forth by Russia. “Although the Russian Federation formally agreed to an extraordinary observation flight over its territory, the stringent financial conditions that were put forth made it virtually impossible,” Perebyinis said.

He expressed hope that “Russia will reply to Ukraine’s request concerning changes in the conditions in order to make this flight possible.”

Earlier in the day, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told journalists that Russia had allowed Ukrainian observers to inspect the Kursk and Belgorod regions, which border on Ukraine, to make sure that there are no military activities that may threaten their country.

Speaking of the “unenforceable financial and technical requirements”, the Defense Ministry said that Ukraine had only been asked to pay for the flight because of its extraordinary nature.

Room and board, fuel and other expenses for the inspectors have fixed prices that apply to all member states of the Open Skies Treaty. Observation flights under the Treaty are made at the expense of the states that initiate them, the ministry said.

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