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Russian Military Inspectors to Fly Over Croatia, Slovenia

RIA Novosti

02:24 25/03/2013

MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military inspectors will make surveillance flights over the territories of Croatia and Slovenia countries under the international Open Skies Treaty beginning on Monday, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian experts will conduct the inspection flights on board an Antonov An-30B (Clank) aircraft between March 25 and 30, the spokesman said.

The aircraft will take off from Croatia's Zagreb Airport to cover a total distance of 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) over Croatia and then it will take off from the Ljubljana Airport to fly 500 km (311 miles) over Slovenia.

During the flights, Russian and foreign specialists will monitor the operation of surveillance equipment on board the aircraft as set out in the Open Skies Treaty.

The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the deal in May 2001.

Meanwhile, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told journalists that Canadian inspectors would conduct an inspection flight over Russia over the same period, between March 25 and 30, on board a C-130 surveillance aircraft under the treaty.

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