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US Military Inspectors to Fly Over Russian Territory

RIA Novosti

04:22 21/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) – A group of United States inspectors will fly over Russia as part of the international Open Skies Treaty on July 21-26, a Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday.

"Over the period of July 21-26, as part of the international Open Skies Treaty, the US mission is to perform an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation aboard OC-135B US Air Force aircraft," Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of the ministry's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, said.

The Boeing OC-135B Open Skies aircraft flies unarmed observation flights over participating parties of the treaty. Russian specialists on board the plane will ensure the flight goes in line with the agreement.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed by 27 member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in 1992 in Helsinki. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding by allowing unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the territories of its 34 current member states. Russia signed the treaty on May 26, 2001.

During the observation flights, the aircrafts fitted with sensors and cameras collect image data that can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.

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