Russia to Hold Observation Flight Over Italy

© Flickr / Dmitry TerekhovAntonov An-30
Antonov An-30 - Sputnik International
National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center chief Sergei Ryzhkov said that Russian experts will hold an observation flight over Italy under the Treaty on Open Skies this week.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian experts will hold an observation flight over Italy under the Treaty on Open Skies this week, National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center chief Sergei Ryzhkov said Monday.

"An observation flight at a maximum range of 2,015 kilometers [1,252 miles] will be carried out from February 15 to February 19 from the Rome Ciampino Airport," Ryzhkov said.

The Russian an An-30B (NATO reporting name: Clank) aerial cartography aircraft will follow the route agreed with the observed side, while Italian experts will control the order sensor application and compliance with the treaty's provisions.

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

This aircraft has a combined ability as a Zero-Gravity trainer for the Russian Space Centre and as an Open-Skies aircraft - Sputnik International
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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 members, including Russia and the majority of NATO members.

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

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

This is Russia’s third observation flight over member states’ territories this year, Ryzhkov added.

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