"From March 13 to 18, under the international Open Skies Treaty, a joint US-German mission will carry out an observation flight over the Russian territory aboard a US observation plane OC-135B after taking off from Khabarovsk Novy Airport," Ryzhkov said adding that this aircraft is not intended for use of any kinds of weapons.
The official added that the flight will follow an agreed route and a team of Russian experts will be on board to ensure that the aircraft and the survey equipment used are in compliance with the treaty.
"Within the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies a group of Russian inspectors is planning to carry out several observation flights on a Russian An-30B aircraft over the territory of Germany and the Benelux Union states. The observation flights will be carried out from March 13 to 18 after taking off Zaventem/Millbrook (Belgium) and Wunstorf (Germany) airports at the maximum distance of 645 and 1,300 kilometers respectively [400 and 807 miles]," Ryzhkov said.
Ryzhkov added that the flight would be carried out in accordance with the route agreed with the observed side, and experts from the Benelux states and Germany would control the order of application of sensors and compliance with the provisions stipulated in the Treaty.
The Treaty on Open Skies 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 most NATO members.