November 25, 2013 - 14:59 AMT
Russian military inspectors to conduct monitoring flight over Turkey

Russian military inspectors will conduct a monitoring flight over Turkey under the international Open Skies Treaty on Monday, Nov 25, a Russian Defense Ministry official said, according to RIA Novosti.

“A group of Russian inspectors is scheduled to conduct a surveillance flight over the Republic of Turkey on board an An-30B aircraft in the period November 25 to 29 as part of the implementation of the international Open Skies Treaty,” said Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the ministry's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center.

This will be the 39th observation flight conducted by Russia over the territories of the treaty member-states in 2013.

French observers will also conduct surveillance flight over Russia and Belarus on November 25-29 on board a Lockheed C-130H surveillance aircraft. Both Russian and Belarusian specialists will be onboard the aircraft, Ryzhkov said.

Each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with optical, infrared and radar sensors to gather imagery that can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with arms control treaties.

The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the treaty in May 2001.