MOSCOW, April 26 (RIA Novosti) – Military inspectors from Canada and Hungary will carry out a joint monitoring mission over Russian territory under the international Open Skies Treaty on April 26-30, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The NATO experts will fly on board a Hungarian Air Force’s Antonov An-26 plane using surveillance equipment certified internationally and approved by the Russian side.
“Russian officials 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.
Under the treaty, each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with a sensor suite including optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, thermal infrared imaging sensors, and imaging radar.
The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 35 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the deal in May 2001.
The image data recorded during the observation flights can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.