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Matter of Trust: Russia to Investigate Turkish Military Activity

© AP Photo / Burhan OzbiliciTurkish soldier handles a national flag at the monument of Sukru Pasa, a national hero who defended Edirne region during the Balkan War in 1913, in Edirne, western Turkey (File)
Turkish soldier handles a national flag at the monument of Sukru Pasa, a national hero who defended Edirne region during the Balkan War in 1913, in Edirne, western Turkey (File) - Sputnik International
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Russia is preparing to conduct an official military inspection in Turkey, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, told the media.

"From February 2 until February 5, a Russian team of inspectors intends to conduct an inspection of a designated area in Turkey – about 18,000 square kilometers in total – in order to promote mutual trust and security in accordance with the Vienna Document of 2011," Ryzhkov said, according to RIA Novosti.

The emblem of the Russian Defense Ministry adorns the fence around the Defense Ministry's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 - Sputnik International
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He also added that the inspection’s goal is to confirm the scale and nature of the officially declared military activity in the specified area of the country, as Russian inspectors will be allowed to visit military ranges and will be briefed by high-ranking Turkish military officials.

According to Ryzhkov, a group of Spanish military specialists will conduct a similar inspection in Russia's Rostov Region during the same time.

"From February 2 until February 5, Spain will conduct an inspection of a designated area in Russia in accordance with the Vienna Document of 2011. The inspection will take place in a roughly 15,000 square kilometer area in the Rostov Region, as per the request of the Spanish side. The Spanish inspectors will be briefed by the commanders of the military units deployed in the area regarding the aforementioned units’ status, size and the nature of activity they’re engaged in," he said.

The upcoming inspections will be conducted within the framework of the Vienna Document, an agreement between the participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe aimed at implementing confidence and security-building measures.

The document stipulates an annual exchange of military information about forces located in Europe, notifications for risk reduction including consultation regarding unusual military activities and hazardous incidents, the observation of certain military activities, as well as compliance guidelines and rules requiring verification via inspection and evaluation visits.

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