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Ukrainian specialists to arrive at Kubinka military airfield for inspection flight

March 20, 2014, 13:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Under the Open Skies Treaty it will take not more than 96 hours for an observing party to make the flight

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Russian Air Force's Kubinka airfield west of Moscow

Russian Air Force's Kubinka airfield west of Moscow

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian specialists will arrive at the Kubinka military airfield, Moscow Region, on Thursday to make an inspectionn flight over Russia’s territory within the Open Skies Treaty, head of the National Nuclear Threat Reduction Centre Sergey Ryzhkov told Itar-Tass.

On March 11, Ukraine sent a request to the OSCE to make an inspection flight over Russia’s territory from March 17 to March 21, Ryzhkov said.

“This will be an additional flight for Russia. Funding has not been envisioned due to the difficult financial and economic situation in Ukraine. We insisted Ukraine pay nutrition and accommodation, fuel and other additional ground services in compliance with the Open Skies Treaty,” the Russian official said.

“Despite a positive reaction Ukraine succeeded in paying services on March 19. Thus, specialists will be able to arrive at Kubinka only on March 20. The mission involves 16 Ukrainian specialists, as well as one representative from the USA and Canada,” Ryzhkov said.

“Under the Open Skies Treaty it will take not more than 96 hours for an observing party to make the flight,” Ryzhkov said.

On March 11, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Monday the country had allowed Ukrainian observers to inspect the Kursk and Belgorod regions to convince themselves nothing threatens Ukraine.

“During the inspection, Ukrainian representatives can be given an opportunity to inspect an above-mentioned area to make it clear no military activities have been conducted there,” Antonov said.

“Ukraine sent an inquiry to the OSCE to organize the so-called inspection of a Russian area from March 18 to March 20 under the Vienna document on confidence-building measures and security of 2011,” the deputy minister added.

“I should say the parachute regiment of the Pskov division will make an observation flight over the territory of Russia from March 17 and conduct an inspection under the 2011 Vienna document,” Antonov said.

On March 12, Russia allowed Ukraine to make an observation flight over its territory within the Open Skies Treaty. The flight was scheduled to take place on March 17. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry made a request to the Russian Defense Ministry on March 11. The observation flight was asked to be made for the first time since the signing of the Open Skies Treaty. However, the flight has not been made. The Ukrainian ministry said Russia had set forth large financial and technical conditions.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine had been proposed to pay the flight before it had been made. Observations flights are made for states’ account, the Russian ministry said.

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