MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. A joint mission by Canada and the United States will perform an observation flight between January 27 and February 1, chief of the Russian National Centre for Nuclear Risk Reduction Sergei Ryzhkov told reporters on Monday.
"Between January 27 and February 1 in the framework of implementing the international Treaty on Open Skies, a joint mission of Canada and the United States will conduct an observation flight over Russia on a Canadian C-13OJ observation aircraft. During the flight that will follow the agreed route, Russian specialists onboard the jet will monitor that the agreed parameters of the flight are strictly adhered to and that observation equipment allowed by the treaty is used," he said.
Treaty on Open Skies
Developed with Moscow’s active participation, the Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 and came into force in 2002. It currently has 34 member states. The treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. Observation flights are made over the territories of the United States, Canada, European countries, and Russia. Now, the treaty has more than 30 signatory states. Russia ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.
The main purposes of the open skies regime are to develop transparency, render assistance in monitoring compliance with the existing or future arms control agreements, broaden possibilities for preventing crises and managing crisis situations within the scope of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other relevant international organizations. Subsequently, it is contemplated to apply the open skies regime to new fields, such as environmental protection.
In practical terms, the treaty allows signatory states to perform observations flights over any part of the observed state party’s territory to monitor military activities in conformity with the agreed quotas of such missions. The treaty regulates observation flights procedures, establishes a mechanism of control over its observance, and sets requirements to the aircraft and observation equipment.