02:15 GMT18 May 2021
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    Russian inspectors will conduct observation flights over the territory of the Czech Republic and Slovakia under the Treaty on Open Skies, Sergei Ryzhkov, chief of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said on Sunday.

    The observation flights by a Russian Antonov An-30B plane are scheduled for October 19 and 22 and will be Russia's 34th and 35th such missions conducted under the treaty this year.

    "The maximum range of the flight over the Czech Republic will be 800 kilometers and over Slovakia – 1,200 kilometers,” Ryzhkov said, adding that the "observation flights are conducted with the aim of promoting greater transparency of military activities" and "strengthening security through confidence-building measures".

    Simultaneously, aviation experts from the United States and Britain will conduct a joint observation flight over Russia's Far East on board a Boeing OC-135B Open Skies aircraft, designed to carry out unarmed flights.

    The Treaty on Open Skies, which was signed on March 24, 1992 in Helsinki, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states.

    The treaty came into force on January 1, 2002. Russia ratified the treaty on May 26, 2001.


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