Representatives of the US and Italy will conduct a surveillance flight over Russia under the international Treaty on Open Skies.
Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Nuclear Risk Reduction explained that, ''from 17 to 22 of August, in the framework of the international Open Skies Treaty, a joint mission of the United States and Italy will perform an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation on the American observation aircraft OC-135B, from the airport at Novosibirsk''.
OC-135B is reported to be an aircraft not intended for the use of weapons. The aircraft itself, and the surveillance facilities installed (aerial cameras) have passed international certification.
Pravda.Ru reported, that the Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 as one of the measures to enhance confidence in Europe after the Cold War. The Treaty has been valid since 2002 and allows the member-states to openly collect data on the armed forces of each other. The majority of the NATO states, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and neutral Sweden and Finland take part in the program.
Also read: Russia to monitor US and Canadian airspace
Read article in Russian on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru