MOSCOW, March 18 (Itar-Tass) - A group of military inspectors of the Russian Federation will make observation flights within a period from March 18 to 23 under the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS) over the territories of the FRG and Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg).
Simultaneously a team of inspectors of the United States and the Czech Republic will make such flights over Russia's territory, an official at the RF Defence Ministry's press-service and information department told Itar-Tass.
TOS was signed in 1992. Thirty-four countries are Parties to the Treaty. It is reckoned that the chief purposes of the open-skies regime are "to develop transparency, contribute to the monitoring of compliance with the arms control agreements, broaden possibilities for preventing crises and regulate crisis situations within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and other relevant international organizations.
Subsequently, the possibility is contemplated to spread the open-skies regime over to new areas of cooperation, such as environmental protection.