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Russian Inspectors to Fly Over Spain, Portugal Under Open Skies Treaty

Sputnik News

03:22 01.03.2015(updated 03:56 01.03.2015)

Russian inspectors will conduct observation flights over the territories of Spain and Portugal at the beginning of March, under the Treaty on Open Skies.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian inspectors will conduct observation flights over the territories of Spain and Portugal at the beginning of March, under the Treaty on Open Skies, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov has announced.

'Observation flights will be conducted during the period of March 1-8 from the Open Skies airfields in Lisbon (Portugal) and Getafe (Spain) at a maximum range of 1200 and 1800 kilometers [745 and 1118 miles] respectively,' Ryzhkov said.

The two flights will be the fifth and sixth carried out by Russia under the Open Skies treaty this year.

According to Ryzhkov, the flights will be conducted using the Russian Antonov An-30B aircraft along routes agreed upon with Portugal and Spain. Specialists from the two countries will be present on board the aircraft and will be monitoring the use of equipment and Russian inspectors' adherence to the Open Skies treaty.

'The observation flights are being carried out in order to promote more openness and transparency in the military activity of the treaty's member-states and to build up security through the strengthening of trust measures,' Ryzhkov explained.

The Treaty on Open Skies, signed on March 24, 1992, in Helsinki, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states, which include the majority of NATO countries, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Sweden and Finland.

Russia ratified the treaty on May 26, 2001.

Sputnik



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