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US specialists to make TOS observation flight over Russia

June 30, 2014, 10:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
An observation flight over the territories of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation will be made aboard an American OC-135B observation plane from June 30 to July 4
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© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. A group of US specialists will make an observation flight this week over the territories of Belarus and Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS), Sergei Zabello, acting chief of the national Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

"Within a period from June 30 to July 4, a US mission plans to make a TOS observation flight over the territories of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation aboard an American OC-135B observation plane," he said.

Zabello added that during the flight along an agreed route,Russian and Belarusian specialists on board the observation plane will monitor strict observance of the agreed parameters of the flight and the use of observation instrumentation prescribed by TOS.

"The OC-135B observation aircraft belongs to a class of flying vehicles which are not designed to carry any armament. The plane and the onboard instrumentation (aerophoto cameras) passed through the necessary international inspection in which Russian specialists also participated, which rules out the use of technical means not provided for by TOS," Zabello pointed out.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992. Thirty-four countries are now Parties to the Treaty. Observation flights are made over Russia, the United States, Canada, and European countries. The main purposes of the Treaty are to build trust between countries, promote the monitoring of implementation of arms control agreements, broaden possibilities to prevent crises, and settle crisis situations within the framework of the OSCE and other international organizations.

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