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Plane with Russian military observers will make an inspection flight over Norway under the Open Skies Treaty
A plane with Russian military observers will make an inspection flight over Norway under the Open Skies Treaty, the Air Force commander said Monday. "A Russian mission comprising 22 people left the Kubinka airfield on board an An-30B reconnaissance plane at 11 a.m. (7 a.m. GMT) for an inspection flight under the Open Skies treaty," Vladimir Mikhailov said, adding that the observers were scheduled to return September 8. The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 on the initiative of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territory of its 26 states, to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities. The regime covers the national territories (land, islands, and internal and territorial waters) of all the treaty signatory states. It includes the territory of most member states of the 56-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and is an important element of the European security structure. Mikhailov also said an observer mission comprising military experts from Italy, Germany and Greece would arrive Monday at the Kubinka airfield near Moscow onboard an Italian Lockheed C-130 Hercules for an inspection flight over Russia. The mission will run until September 9, he said.
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