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Russian Inspectors to Fly Over Turkey Under Open Skies Treaty

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The head of the Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said that Russian military experts will conduct an observation flight over Turkey this week to facilitate transparency of mutual military activity.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian military experts will conduct an observation flight over Turkey this week to facilitate transparency of mutual military activity, the head of the Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said in a statement Monday.

The October 12-16 flight will be performed under the Open Skies Treaty from an airfield in Diyarbakir. This is Russia’s 33rd observation flight over the territory of the Treaty’s signatories this year.

"The observation flight is performed in order to promote greater openness and transparency in the military activities of parties to the Treaty, as well as strengthening security through confidence building measures," Sergei Ryzhkov said.

Turkish experts will take part in the flyover to monitor the mission’s adherence to flight parameters and the use of agreed observation equipment, Ryzhkov added.

Boeing OC-135B Open Skies aircraft - Sputnik International
US, UK to Hold Observation Flight Over Russia on October 5-10
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed last week that Russia’s Su-30 Flanker multirole fighter briefly entered Turkish airspace because of poor weather conditions on October 3.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the incident did not affect relations between the two countries and said Moscow had assured Ankara such incidents would not take place in the future.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 States Parties, including Russia and the majority of the NATO countries.

The treaty allows participating countries to openly gather information on each other's military forces and activities.

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