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US, Canadian military inspectors to hold observation flight over Russia this week

This is conducted as part of the international Open Skies Treaty

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. A group of American and Canadian military inspectors will carry out an observation flight over the territory of Russia this week within the frames of the international Open Skies Treaty, Krasnaya Zvezda daily reported on Monday citing a senior Russian Defense Ministry official.

Russian military inspectors will also conduct Open Skies observation flights this week over the territories of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Portugal.

The head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, Sergey Ryzhkov, said that "Russia will carry out observation flights between September 16 and 20 over the territories of Benelux and Portugal using An-30B and Tu-154M-LK-1 aircraft."

"A joint mission of the United States and Canada will carry out an observation flight over the territory of Russia between September 16 and 21 using OC-135B aircraft, which will take off from the Kubinka Airport," Ryzhkov added.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and includes 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 Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.