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British inspectors to perform observation flight over Russia, Belarus

June 08, 2015, 8:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. British inspectors will perform an observation flight over the territory of Russia and Belarus, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday.

"On June 8-11, 2015, as part of implementation of the international Open Skies Treaty, a British mission plans to perform an inspection flight over the territory of a group of states members [of the Treaty] - Belarus and the Russian Federation on board a Swedish Saab-340 observation aircraft," acting chief of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Ruslan Shishin told TASS.

During the flight, which will be performed along an agreed route, Russian specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions, Shishin said.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and has 34 member states. It 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 in the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.

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