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Russian inspectors to perform observation flights over Benelux, Germany

March 14, 8:21 UTC+3
Benelux and German specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions
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Antonov An-30B aircraft

Antonov An-30B aircraft

© TAR-TASS/Lyudmila Pakhomova

MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Russian inspectors will perform observation flights over the territory of Benelux and Germany within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said.

"Within the framework of implementation of the international Open Skies Treaty, a Russian group of inspectors plans to conduct consecutive surveillance flights on board a Russian An-30B aircraft over the territories of Benelux countries and Germany," chief of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergey Ryzhkov said.

"The flights will take place on March 14-19 from Open Skies airports Brussels and Ingolstadt with the maximum range of 945 and 1,300 kilometers correspondingly," Ryzhkov said.

He said the flight would be conducted along an agreed route, and Benelux and German specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions.

This will be the fifth and sixth observation flights by Russia over the territories of the Open Skies Treaty members in 2016.

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.

Meanwhile, a joint mission of inspectors from the United Kingdom and Sweden will perform on March 14-18 an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation in the framework of the international Open Skies Treaty, Ryzhkov said Monday.

He told TASS that the flight will take place on board a Swedish SAAB-340B aircraft from the Kubinka airfield.

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, Ryzhkov said.

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