MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. A joint US-Ukrainian mission will conduct an Open Skies observation mission over Russian on February 10-14, Russia’s Krasnaya Zvezda (or Red Star) newspaper reported on Monday, citing Chief of the National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov.
"On February 10-14, a joint US-Ukrainian mission will conduct an observation flight over Russia in accordance with the Treaty on Open Skies, using an Antonov An-30 survey aircraft," the newspaper quoted Ryzhkov as saying.
According to the paper, Russian experts will be present on board the survey plane to make sure that the mission’s members adhere to the agreed parameters of the flight and use the equipment provided for in the treaty.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, by the member-states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and went into force on January 1, 2002. The accord includes 34 countries, among them, most NATO members, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden and Finland. Russia ratified the Treaty on May 26, 2001. The purpose of the deal is to help build confidence between countries through the improvement of mechanisms to control military activities and compliance with arms control agreements.