US, Czech Experts to Fly Over Russia Under Open Skies Treaty - Official

© Photo : U.S. Air Force / Boeing OC-135B Open Skies
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The US and Czech experts will conduct an observational flight over Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies on November 16-21, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the official, the Russian specialists will be on board of the plane during the flight to monitor compliance with the agreed parameters of the flight and the use of agreed observation equipment.

"On November 16-21, in compliance with the Open Skies Treaty, a joint mission of the United States and the Czech Republic will conduct an observational flight over the Russian Federation on a US OC-135B observation aircraft from the Khabarovsk airport," Ryzhkov said.

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Ryzhkov noted that the aircraft was not equipped to carry on board or use any weapons.

The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.

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It 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.

Moscow ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.

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

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