Russia performs observation flight over Turkish airspace
Photo Credit: WikipediaRussia is due to conduct an observation flight over Turkish territory on Dec. 14-18, under the framework of the Open Skies Treaty, Turkish officials have told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The flight was postponed in October on Ankara’s request amid a series of violations of Turkish airspace by Russian warplanes. Relations between Ankara and Moscow are at their tensest since the end of the Cold War after the downing of a Russian warplane on Turkey’s border with Syria on Nov. 24 over airspace violations.
“As part of the implementation of the international Open Skies Treaty, a Russian group of inspectors plan to conduct a surveillance flight on board a Russian An-30B aircraft over the territory of the Turkish Republic,” TASS Russian News Agency reported Russian Nuclear Risk Reduction Center head Sergey Ryzhkov as saying.
The observation flight will be performed from an airfield in Turkey’s eastern province of Erzurum, and will have a maximum flight range of 1,500 kilometers along an agreed route, Ryzhkov said.
Turkish specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions, he added.
The flight takes place within the framework of the 1992 Treaty on Open Skies of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Having established a regime of unarmed observation flights over the territories of state parties, the treaty specifies inter alia quotas for observation flights, the notification of points of entry, technical details, and inspection for sensors.