22:15 GMT16 February 2020
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    Sergei Ryzhkov, who is head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, said that in the course of the observation mission, French specialists on board the aircraft will monitor compliance with the agreed parameters for the flight and the use of observation equipment.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian military experts will fly over parts of France under the Treaty on Open Skies on April 25-29, Sergei Ryzhkov, who is head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, said Monday.

    "As part of the international Open Skies Treaty, a Russian inspection team plans to carry out an observation flight on a Russian An-30 plane over the territory of the French Republic. An observation flight with a maximum range of up to 2,078 kilometers [1,291 miles] will be carried out during the period from April 25 to 29 from the Orleans-Bricy Air Base," Ryzhkov said.

    According to him, in the course of the observation mission, French specialists on board the aircraft will monitor compliance with the agreed parameters for the flight and the use of observation equipment.

    "Carrying out observation flights under the agreement promotes greater openness and transparency in the military activities of the treaty states parties. This will be the eleventh Russian observation flight in 2016," Ryzhkov added.

    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.


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