September 14, 2012 21:15
Russian military plane makes Open Skies inspection flight over Estonia
TALLINN. Sept 14 (Interfax-AVN/BNS) - A Russian-Belarusian military team made an inspection flight aboard a Russian aircraft over Estonia on Friday under the Open Skies Treaty, an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe confidence-building accord.
The inspectors flew on board one of the internationally certified Antonov An-30B planes that was fitted with a vertical optic panoramic camera, the General Staff of the Estonian Defense Forces told the Baltic News Service (BNS).
The film would be developed in Russia in the presence of an Estonian representative, and a copy of it would be handed over to the Estonian side.
The aircraft's crew and inspectors numbered 18 in total. There were also six Estonian officers on board who were overseeing the inspectors and checking whether the plane was sticking to its approved route.
The aircraft covered 800 kilometers, which is within the quota set by the treaty.
Russia has been doing inspection flights over Estonia since 2005.
Thirty-three states, including all NATO members, are signatories to the Open Skies Treaty, which was signed in Helsinki in 1992 and took effect in 2002. Estonia joined the treaty in 2005.
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