Russia to Conduct Legal Surveillance Flight over Bulgaria
Russian inspectors are to conduct an unarmed surveillance flight over Bulgaria this week, under the Treaty in Open Skies, a Russian official reported Monday.
According to Sergei Rizhkov, who heads the Federal Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, the aim is to contribute to transparency in military activity among the states which are parties to the Open Skies and to enhance their security by boosting mutual trust, as Russia's ITAR-TASS reveals.
The flight is scheduled between May 19 and 23, with a surveillance aircraft, Russia's Antonov An-30B to take off from the airport at the Black Sea city of Burgas. Its route has been agreed with Bulgaria, and the apparatus used during its mission will be controlled by Bulgarian experts on board.
Its maximum length will be 660 km, as Russian Defense Ministry officials were quoted as saying by Black Sea News.
Within the same period, British inspectors are due to carry out the same flight over the Russian Federation using a Romanian Antonov An-30.
A total of 34 countries, including Canada, Russia and the US, have signed the Treaty on Open Skies since 1992. It was established in order to promote the implementation or arms control agreements and the expansion of capacities in fields such as crisis regulation.
After entering into force in 2002, it also serves the purpose to give all of its participants a role in gathering information about forces and activities of other countries.
Russia is to perform 19 surveillance flights over the territories of Open Skies countries in 2014.
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