British observers to conduct Open Skies Treaty flights over Russia

A group of British observers on board of a Swedish SAAB-340 aircraft will make a series of inspection flights over the Russian territories under the Open Skies Treaty on June 20-24, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“SAAB-340 aircraft and the equipment it carries were earlier approved and certified by international experts and specialists, including from Russia,” the spokesman said.

He added that the flights will be along the route coordinated earlier with Russian specialists, who will be on board of the aircraft monitoring implementation of agreements on the use of technical equipment for the observation.

The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, established 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.

The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002 and its regime covers the national territories (land, islands, and internal and territorial waters) of all the treaty signatory states. It is an important element of the European security structure.


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