MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. A joint mission of the United States, Canada and Norway will perform an observation flight above Russia’s territory on February 25-29, chief of the Russian National Center for Nuclear Risk Reduction Sergei Ryzhkov said on Tuesday.
"Implementing the international Treaty on Open Skies, a joint mission of the United States, Canada and Norway will perform an observation flight above the territory of the Russian Federation in the period of February 25-29, on the Swedish Saab 340 aircraft to take off from Kubinka airfield [near Moscow]," he said.
Russian specialists will be present on board the aircraft to oversee that the observation flight is performed in accordance with the previously agreed parameters and includes equipment permitted by the treaty.
Saab 340 is unfit to carry arms and its survey equipment was internationally certified to rule out the employment of unapproved technical means.
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.
In practical terms, the treaty allows signatory states to perform observation 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.