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US, Ukraine Inspectors to Fly Over Russia Under Open Skies Treaty

Sputnik News

00:11 22.08.2016(updated 00:27 22.08.2016)

US and Ukrainian inspectors will fly over Russian territories this week under the Open Skies Treaty, the acting head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – He added that the flight will follow an agreed route and a team of Russian experts will be on board to ensure that the aircraft and the survey equipment used are in compliance with the treaty.

"From August 22 to 27, under the international Open Skies Treaty, a joint US-Ukrainian mission will carry out an observation flight over the Russian territory aboard a US observation plane OS-135B after taking off from [Russia's] Ulan-Ude," the Ministry's Sergei Zabello said.

He added that the flight will follow an agreed route and a team of Russian experts will be on board to ensure that the aircraft and the survey equipment used are in compliance with the treaty.

In return, a Russian observation mission is planned to take place over US territories at the same time, the Defense Ministry official said.

"A Russian team of inspectors plan to carry out observation flights aboard a Tu-154M Lk-1," Zabello said.

The plane will take off from US air force base Wright-Patterson in Ohio on Monday and fly a total of 3,000 miles. Another Russian mission is scheduled in Canada for August 29 and will last until September 3.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 states parties, including Russia and most NATO members.

Sputnik



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