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October 18, 2021

Joint U.S. – Romania observation flight mission over Russia under Open Skies Treaty

U.S. and Romanian inspectors will carry out aerial survey flights over Russia and Belarus in a Romanian Airforce airplane, under the Treaty on Open Skies, Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre head Sergei Ryzhkov announced, according to a RIA Novosti news agency report on Wednesday.

To this effect, a Romanian An-30 airplane will take off from the Kubinka airport between 4 and 7 May on pre-established routes. The flights will be monitored by Russian and Belarussian experts in an observation airplane, to check the strict observance of the agreed parameters.

Ryzhkov explained that An-30 airplanes are not intended to carry any weapons. The Romanian airplane has aerial survey cameras and observation equipment that passed international authorization, to which Russian experts have participated to exclude the possibility of using any technical means not stipulated in the Open Skies treaty.

The treaty has been signed in 1992 in Helsinki by 27 member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; it currently has 34 state parties. Its purpose is to enhance the mutual cooperation and confidence.

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