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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian inspectors to carry out observation flights over Latvia, Lithuania

1 June 2014, 09:44 -- Russian inspectors will carry out an observation flight over the territories of Latvia and Lithuania this week under the Open Skies Treaty, Ruslan Shishin, the acting head of the national nuclear risk reduction center, told Itar-Tass.

'Under the international Open Skies Treaty, Russia is planning to make two observation flights on a Russian plane Antonov-30B over the territories of Latvia and Lithuania,' Shishin said, adding the observation flights would take place on June 1-7 from the airfields in Riga (Latvia) and Siauliai (Lithuania).

'The maximum range of the observation flights is 800 and 715 kilometers, respectively,' Shishin went on to say.

The Russian plane will use the route approved by the sides under observation while Latvian and Lithuanian experts who will also be onboard will control the use of monitoring equipment by the Russian inspectors and will see that the provisions of the Open Skies Treaty are duly observed, the acting head of the Russian national nuclear risk reduction center said.

'Observation flights are designed to make the military activities of countries signatories to the Open Skies Treaty more open and transparent and strengthen security via confidence-building measures,' Shishin explained.

The flights over Latvia and Lithuania will be 15th and 16th to be made by Russian inspectors over the territories of countries signatories to the Open Skies Treaty in 2014.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed by 34 states in 1992. Observation flights are made over Russia, the United States, and Canada and European countries. The treaty's main tasks are to develop transparency, help monitoring arms control agreements, expand opportunities to prevent crises and settle crisis situations within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.

Source: to-carry-out-observation-flights-over-Latvia-Lithuania-0600/

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