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     Tupolev Tu-154M-LK1 'RA-85655'  This aircraft has a combined ability as a Zero-Gravity trainer for the Russian Space Centre and as an Open-Skies aircraft.

    Russia to Conduct Observation Flights Over Canada, US: Defense Ministry

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    A team of Russian aviation inspectors will conduct observation flights over Canada and the United States under the Treaty on Open Skies, the head of the Russian National Center for Reducing Nuclear Threat Sergei Ryzhkov has said.

    MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) — A team of Russian aviation inspectors will conduct observation flights over Canada and the United States under the Treaty on Open Skies, the head of the Russian National Center for Reducing Nuclear Threat Sergei Ryzhkov has said.

    "Under the international Treaty on Open Skies, a team of Russian inspectors plans to carry out two consecutive observation flights on a Tu-154M-LK1 aircraft over the territory of Canada and the United States," Ryzhkov said.

    It will be the 32nd and 33rd Russian observation flights over the territories of the treaty signatory states in 2014.

    The flight over Canada will take place from October 13 to 18, with the aircraft set to cover the distance of 5,400 kilometers (some 3,355 miles). The flight over the United States will be carried out from October 20 to 25, with the distance of 4,250 kilometers (about 2,640 miles) to cover.

    The Russian aircraft will follow the routes, approved by the participating parties, with Canadian and US specialists on board of the plane monitoring the use of the surveillance equipment and ensuring the compliance with the treaty provisions.

    The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 in Helsinki and currently applies to 34 countries. The treaty establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants a direct role in gathering information about areas of concern to them.

    aviation, Open Skies Treaty