US, Ukraine to conduct observation flights over Russia

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Moscow, Aug 22 (IANS) The US and Ukraine will carry out from August 22 to 27 observation flights over Russian territory using a US observation plane monitored by Russian experts, authorities said on Monday.

The flights will be conducted in accordance with the Treaty on Open Skies signed in March 1992, Sputnik news agency quoted Sergei Zabello, the acting head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre, as saying.

Russian experts aboard the OS-135B US aircraft will monitor the flights and ensure that the aircraft and the survey equipment used are in compliance with the treaty, he added.

The Treaty on Open Skies, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, was one of the confidence-building measures after the end of the Cold War and currently has 34 states as parties.

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