MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. French observers will carry out a flight over Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies, head of the Russian National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov said, according to Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper.
“On November 9-13, France will conduct an observation flight over Russia’s territory as part of implementing the Open Skies Treaty aboard a Romanian An-30 observation plane from the Kubinka airfield,” Ryzhkov said.
According to him, during the flight Russian specialists aboard the An-30 plane will control “strict compliance with the agreed flight parameters and using observation equipment stipulated by the treaty.”
The Antonov An-30 is a plane, which is not designed for using any types of weapons. “The plane and the surveillance equipment installed on it (aerial surveying cameras) have undergone international examination, which also involved Russian specialists, and this rules out using technical means not envisaged by the treaty,” Ryzhkov explained.
Observation flights promote greater openness and transparency in the military activity of member-states of the Treaty, the official said.
The Open Skies’ main goals are to build transparency, render assistance in monitoring compliance with existing or future arms control agreements, broaden possibilities for preventing crises and managing crisis situations. The accord establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. Now, the treaty has more than 30 signatory states. Russia ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.
Sources from: TASS
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