Russian Inspectors Begin Surveillance Flight Over the U.S. territory from the Travis Air Force Base, located in California.(RN).
A group of Russian military observers begin on Sunday a nine-day inspection mission in the skies of the United States under the Open Skies Treaty. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia’s Tupolev Tu-154 LK-1 will take off on Sunday from the Travis Air Force Base, located in California, while the maximum range of the flight will total 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 earlier this week.The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, established 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.
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. Meanwhile Tbilisi’s decision to pull out from the Open Skies Treaty vis-à-vis Moscow sets “a dangerous precedent”, which may even lead to “collapse” of the entire treaty, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on April 16.Georgia announced in early April that it was ceasing its obligations under the treaty only vis-à-vis Russia.Georgia cited Russia’s decision to impose restriction on observation flight path as the reason behind its decision to pull out from the treaty vis-à-vis Russia.
“The Treaty does not envisage possibility of an arbitrary, discriminatory restriction of right of any participating state. The Georgian side’s action, however leads to violation of the Russian Federation’s rights and creates a dangerous precedent, which, combined with uneasy situation existing recently in the Open Skies Consultative Commission [the implementing body of the treaty, consisting of representatives from each of the 34 states parties to the treaty], may lead to the collapse of the Open Skies Treaty,” the Russian MFA said in the statement.
Hmmmm..............Anyone heard about these 'overflights' in the MSM? Read the full story here.