US, Estonian inspectors to conduct observation flight over Russia

April 6, 2015 11:01 am 

MOSCOW, April 6 — American and Estonian specialists will fly over the territory of Russia and Belarus under the Treaty on Open Skies on April 6-11, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov has announced.

"Within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies a US mission with the participation of Estonian representatives plans to conduct an observation flight over the territory of a group of participating states, the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation, on the American OC-135B observation aircraft," Ryzhkov said.

During the flight, Russian and Belarusian specialists on board the plane will control the foreign experts' use of monitoring equipment and their strict adherence to the Open Skies treaty, according to Ryzhkov.

The Boeing OC-135B Open Skies plane is not equipped with any weapons and only uses internationally-approved observation technology allowed by the treaty.

The Treaty on Open Skies, signed in 1992, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states to promote openness and transparency of military activities.

The treaty came into force on January 1, 2002. Russia ratified it on May 26, 2001.

The concept of the Treaty on Open Skies was re-introduced by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, following an original proposal by President Eisenhower in 1955. (PNA/Sputnik)



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