MOSCOW, July 20 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian inspectors will carry out two observation flights over the territories of Estonia and Finland onboard of the Antonov-30B (An-30B) aircraft under the International Open Skies Treaty, Sergei Ryzhkov, chief of the Russian national nuclear risk reduction center, told Itar-Tass.
"The observation flights will be made from the Open Skies Helsinki-Vantaa airport (Finland) and Tartu-Ulenurme (Estonia),” Ryzhkov clarified.
“The maximum range of the observation flights is 1,400 and 800 kilometers, respectively,” Ryzhkov went on to say.
The Russian plane will use the route approved by the sides under observation while Finnish and Estonian experts on its board will exercise control over the use of monitoring equipment by the Russian inspectors and will see that the provisions of the Open Skies Treaty are duly observed, the head of the Russian national nuclear risk reduction center said.
The flights over Finland and Estonia will be 20th and 21st to be made by Russian inspectors over the territories of countries signatories to the Open Skies Treaty in 2014.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed by 34 states in 1992. Observation flights are made over Russia, the United States, and Canada and European countries.
The treaty’s main tasks are to develop transparency, help monitoring arms control agreements, expand opportunities to prevent crises and settle crisis situations within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.
The open skies regime may be extended to new areas of cooperation in future such as environmental protection.