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US, German inspectors to make observation flight over Russia, Belarus

March 17, 2014, 9:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The flight will be performed on the Swedish observation plane SAAB-340

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© A. Norkus

MOSCOW, March 17. /ITAR-TASS/. From March 17 to 21, a joint mission of Germany and the United States will perform an observation flight over Belarus and Russia within the international Treaty on Open Skies, head of the National Nuclear Threat Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov told Itar-Tass.

“The flight will be performed on the Swedish observation plane SAAB-340,” he specified.

According to Ryzhkov, during the flight on the agreed route, Russian and Belarusian experts on board the observation plane will be monitoring the inspectors’ strict adherence to the coordinated flight parameters and the use of the observation equipment in accordance with the treaty provisions.

The SAAB-340 plane carries no armaments. The plane and the observation equipment installed on it (aerial photographic cameras) have been internationally certified with the participation of Russian experts, which excludes the use of technical equipment that is not specified by the Treaty on Open Skies.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992, and brings together 34 countries. Observation flights are made over Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries. The main aims of the Open Skies are transparency, control over the implementation of agreements on arms control, broader possibilities of crisis prevention and settlement of crisis situations within the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other international organizations.

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