11 Mar 2019 09:54

Russian military plane to perform observation flight in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - Russian inspectors will perform an observation flight in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg on March 11-15 consistent with the Open Skies Treaty, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

"In furtherance of the Open Skies Treaty, the Russian Federation plans to perform an observation flight onboard Russia's Antonov An-30B observation plane over the Benelux territory," acting head of the National Nuclear Threat Reduction Center Ruslan Shishin said.

In his words, the observation flight will be performed to a maximum distance of 945 kilometers from the Kecskemet airfield in Hungary on March 11-15.

"The Russian plane will follow the route coordinated with the observed party, and Benelux specialists will be present onboard to control the use of observation instruments and the compliance with regulations set by the treaty," Shishin said.

"Observation flights are performed under this treaty for the purpose of greater openness and transparency in the military activity of the participatory states, as well as for bolstering security though confidence-building measures," he said.

This is the fifth Open Skies mission to be performed by the Russian military this year, Shishin said.