A group of Russian military observers will carry out an inspection mission over the United States under the Open Skies Treaty on April 8-16, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The Russian inspectors, accompanied by U.S. officials, will be flying on board a Tupolev Tu-154 LK-1 plane from the Travis Air Force Base in California along a designated route totaling 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 on Friday.
It will be the eighth observation mission carried out by Russian inspectors over territories of Open Skies Treaty member countries in 2012.
The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George W. Bush, establishes 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 on May 26, 2001.
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.