A plane carrying Russian military observers will make a series of inspection flights over Italy under the Open Skies Treaty on February 27-March 2, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
The mission will be carried out by an Antonov An-30B aircraft from Italy’s Ciampino airport along a designated route totaling 2,015 kilometers.
“Russian and Italian experts on board the plane will monitor the implementation of agreements on the use of technical equipment for the observation,” the ministry said in a statement.
During the same period, U.S. inspectors on board a Boeing OS-135B observation aircraft will carry out a monitoring mission over the Russian territory.
The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George H. W. Bush, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities.
The treaty entered force on January 1, 2002 and its regime covers the national territories (land, islands, and internal and territorial waters) of all the treaty signatory states. It is an important element of the European security structure.