MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)
- Russia to Conduct Inspection Mission Over the United States
- Canadian observers begin flights over Russia under Open Skies Treaty
- Russia, U.S. make first joint flight under Open Skies Treaty
- Russian military to fly over U.S. under Open Skies Treaty
- Russia, Canada observe the Open Skies Treaty - Russian defense minister
A group of Russian military observers begin on Sunday a nine-day inspection mission in the skies of the United States under the Open Skies Treaty.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia’s Tupolev Tu-154 LK-1 will take off on Sunday from the Travis Air Force Base, located in California, while the maximum range of the flight will total 4,250 kilometers (2,640 miles).
“Russian and U.S. experts on board the plane will monitor the implementation of agreements on the use of technical equipment for the observation,” the ministry said in a statement earlier this week.
The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, 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.
The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002 and its regime covers the national territories (land, islands, and internal and territorial waters) of all the treaty signatory states. It is an important element of the European security structure.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.