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Russian Military Inspectors to Fly Over Italy

RIA Novosti

01:45 11/02/2013 MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military inspectors will begin on Monday a surveillance flight over the territory of Italy under the international Open Skies Treaty, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The group of Russian experts will conduct the inspection flight in an Anotonov An-30B aircraft between February 11 and 15, he said. The aircraft will take off from the Ciampino airport to cover a total distance of 2,015 kilometers (1,252 miles).

During the flight, Russian and Italian specialists will operate surveillance equipment on board of the aircraft as set out in the international Open Skies Treaty.

This will be Russia’s second observation flight this year within the frames of the Open Skies agreement. Last week a group of Russian military inspectors conducted a surveillance flight over Greece.

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 treaty in May 2001.

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