Russia to conduct commentary flight over Benelux

MOSCOW, March 11 (Xinhua) — Russia will conduct an observation flight over the territory of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on March 11-15, a Russian official said on Monday.

As part of the implementation of the International Treaty on Open Skies, a Russian An-30B surveillance aircraft will fly over Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, said Ruslan Shishin, the acting head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center.

Shishin also said that a joint U.S.-Norwegian mission will conduct a surveillance flight on the U.S. observation aircraft OC-135B over the territory of Russia under the treaty on March 11-16.

The Treaty on Open Skies took effect in 2002 and currently has 34 party states, including Russia, the United States and some other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The confidence-building and arms-control pact has established a system of observation flights over its members to gather information about their military forces and activities.