Russia to take observation flight over U.S.

Online Staff Report

Russia will conduct an observation flight over the United States between Dec. 8 and 13 as part of the Treaty on Open Skies, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, reported Dec. 8.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 in Helsinki and came into effect Jan. 1, 2002. Russia ratified the treaty in 2001. The treaty allows 34 countries to conduct observation flights over one another’s territories for the purpose of gathering information and conducting aerial imaging of military forces and other activities.

The Russian flight will be launched from Travis Air Force Base in California, and then cover a maximum range of 2,640 miles. U.S. officials will be on board the flight to ensure rules of the Treaty on Open Skies are not violated.

A U.S. military plane reportedly conducted surveillance flights over Russia in November. That mission was held as Russia faced sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European Union regarding the crisis in Ukraine.

Posted Dec. 8, 2014

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