16:24 GMT21 February 2020
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    The head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center announced that the United States and the Czech Republic will conduct an observation flight over the territory of Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – American and Czech specialists will fly over Russia on March 9-14 under the Treaty on Open Skies, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center has announced.

    "In the period of March 9-14, within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies, a joint mission of the United States and the Czech Republic will conduct an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation aboard the American observation aircraft OC-135B," Ryzhkov said.

    Russian specialists on board the US aircraft will monitor the use of equipment and American and Czech inspectors' adherence to the agreed flight parameters and the Treaty on Open Skies, according to Ryzhkov.

    The Boeing OC-135B Open Skies plane is not equipped with any weapons and only uses internationally-approved observation technology allowed by the treaty.

    The Treaty on Open Skies, signed in 1992, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states to promote openness and transparency of military activities.

    The Open Skies treaty, whose concept was re-introduced by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, following an original proposal by President Eisenhower in 1955, came into force on January 1, 2002. Russia ratified it on May 26, 2001.


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