MOSCOW, (PNA/RIA Novosti) –Russian military inspectors will begin monitoring flights over Portugal and France starting on Monday under the international Open Skies Treaty, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Experts from Russia will be conducting flights on board of a Tu-154M Lk-1 aircraft between October 7 and 11 taking off from Lisbon Airport in Portugal and Getafe Air Base in Spain.
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 the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the treaty in May 2001.
It will be the 31st and 32nd observation flights conducted by Russian military inspectors over the territories of the treaty member-states in 2013.
Each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with optical, infra-red and radar sensors to gather imagery, which can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with arms control treaties.