MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Joint mission from the United States and Britain will carry out an observation flight over Russian territory on a Swedish plane as part of the international Open Skies Treaty, Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, told journalists.
“In the period between August 4 and 8 a joint mission from the United Kingdom and the United States will carry out an observation flight over the territory of Russian Federation on board a Swedish plane Saab-340. In course of the flight along the agreed route Russian specialists on board the observation aircraft will ensure the strict compliance of the flight configuration and observation equipment with the agreement,” Ryzhkov said.
The Saab-340 is an aircraft that is not equipped with any weaponry. Both the plane and its devices were examined by the international inspection, including Russian specialists.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed by 27 member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in 1992 in Helsinki. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding by allowing unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the territories of its 34 current member states. Russia signed the treaty on May 26, 2001.