15:13 GMT29 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A joint mission of France, Germany, and Romania will carry out an observation flight over Russia this week under the Treaty on Open Skies, the head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre, Sergei Ryzhkov, said.

    "On 21-25 September 2020, within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies, a joint mission of Germany, France and Romania will carry out an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation", Ryzhkov said.

    The observation flight will be carried out using the Romanian An-30 aircraft. Russian specialists on board the plane will be monitoring the use of observation equipment, according to Ryzhkov.

    Meanwhile, Russian inspectors plan to carry out an observation flight over the territory of France on 21-25 September.

    "Within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies, a group of Russian inspectors plans to carry out an observation flight over the territory of France using the Russian Tu-154M-LK-1 observation aircraft", Ryzhkov said.

    According to the head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre, the maximum range of the flight over France will be 2,078 kilometres (about 1,291 miles). French specialists on board the aircraft will be monitoring the use of observation equipment by Russian inspectors.

    The Treaty on Open Skies allows its participants to carry out aerial surveillance as part of a program of scheduled observation flights. More than 30 countries are participating in the program created to boost the transparency of military activities.

    In late May, US President Donald Trump declared that Washington was pulling out of the treaty on account of Russia’s alleged lack of compliance. Russia has repeatedly refuted these claims. Many European countries have voiced regrets over the US move and expressed hope that Washington would reconsider.

    In July, Ryzhkov said that the United States was facing a 6-7 year technological gap compared to Russia in the sphere of technologies related to the Treaty on Open Skies.

    Tags:
    Romania, Germany, France, observation flight, Open Skies Treaty, Russia
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