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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Military Inspectors to Fly Over Norway

RIA Novosti

08:21 01/07/2013 MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military inspectors will make surveillance flights over the territory of Norway under the international Open Skies Treaty over a period starting Monday, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Russian experts will conduct the inspection flights on board an Antonov An-30B (Clank) aircraft between July 1 and 6, the spokesman told journalists.

The aircraft will take off from Gardermoen Airport to cover a total distance of 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles).

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.

This will be Russia’s eighteenth observation flight this year under the agreement.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that German and Romanian inspectors would conduct inspection flights over Russia in the same period, between July 1 and 6, on board a Romanian An-30 aircraft under the 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.

Under the treaty, each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with a sensor suite including optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, thermal infrared imaging sensors, and imaging radar.

The image data recorded during the observation flights can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.

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