Russian inspectors on Monday will start observation flights over the Turkish territory under the Open Skies Treaty to monitor its compliance, a senior Russian defense official said. The observational flights — cancelled by Ankara in February, “will be carried out between October 24 and October 28,” TASS news agency quoted Russia’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Center’s acting chief Sergey Zabello.
The Russian flight will use an An-30B aircraft with Turkish specialists on board and cover a maximum range of 1,900 km using Turkey’s Eskisehir Air Base to refuel, Xinhua news agency reported. The flight is part of the confidence-building measures in Europe in the post Cold War era under the international treaty.
The Open Skies Treaty establishes a programme of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire European territory of 34 nations, including Russia and most members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The treaty was signed in March 1992 and took effect in 2002.