12:22 GMT +318 October 2019
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    OC-135B Open Skies

    US, France to Start Open Skies Flight Over Russia on Monday

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    US and French inspectors will conduct an aerial surveillance flight over Russia, the head of Russia's Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US and French inspectors will conduct an aerial surveillance flight over Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies between February 27 and March 4, the head of Russia's Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said Monday.

    "In accordance with the international Treaty on Open Skies, between February 27 and March 4, a joint US-French mission will conduct a surveillance flight over Russia on board a US Boeing OC-135B Open Skies aircraft, taking off from the Khabarovsk Novy Airport," Sergei Ryzhkov said.

    Russian experts will be on board the plane to oversee the observance of treaty clauses, he added, noting that the route details have been agreed on.

    The OC-135B aircraft is incapable of carrying any weapons and its equipment has passed international tests with input from Russia, thus excluding any activities not specified by the open skies treaty, according to Ryzhkov.

    The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force from 2002, providing for unarmed aerial surveillance flights between member states. With 34 states ratifying the agreement, 27 states are Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) members. Russia ratified the agreement in 2001.

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    Tags:
    Treaty on Open Skies, Russia, France, United States
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