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US, Ukrainian military inspectors to fly over Russia, Belarus

March 30, 2015, 3:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Flights would be conducted along earlier agreed routes and Russian specialists on board the aircraft will accompany the US and Ukrainian inspectors
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MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. A group of US and Ukrainian military inspectors will make observation flights over the territories of Russia and Belarus within the frames of the Open Skies Treaty starting on Monday, a high-ranking Russian military official said.

Sergey Ryzhkov, the head of the Russian National Center for Reducing Nuclear Threat, said that US and Ukrainian inspectors would make observation flights over the territories of Russia and Belarus between March 30 and April 4, flying US reconnaissance aircraft Boeing OC-135B.

He added that the flights would be conducted along earlier agreed routes and Russian specialists on board the aircraft will accompany the US and Ukrainian inspectors controlling the use of surveillance equipment as well as observation of the treaty’s provisions.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and currently boasts 34 member states. The treaty 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 within the frames of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.

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