US, Canada to Hold Observation Flight Over Russia Under Open Skies Treaty

Boeing OC-135B Open Skies


Canadian, US military experts will fly over the territory of Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies on November 2-6, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov has announced.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Defense Ministry noted that C-130J is not equipped to carry on board and use any weapons.

“During the November 2-6 period, in compliance with the Open Skies Treaty, a joint mission of the United States and Canada is planning to perform an observation flight over the Russian territory on a Canadian C-130J observation aircraft,” Ryzhkov said in a statement.

In the course of the observation mission, Russian specialists on board the aircraft will monitor compliance with the agreed parameters of the flight and the use of agreed observation equipment, according to the statement.

The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.

It was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 States Parties, including Russia and the majority of the NATO countries.

Moscow ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.

The treaty allows its participants to openly gather information on each other’s military forces and activities.

NATO Spy Plane Roamed Skies Over Siberia

C-130 Hercules


During the past several days, a US observation plane has been flying over Russian skies, taking photos of military installations and equipment, Russian media reported on Monday.

A Lockheed C-130H Hercules with US, French and now Ukrainian military specialists on board carried out a series of observation flights over Western Siberia from August 31 to September 4, the Sovetskyaya Sibir newspaper wrote, citing a Novosibirsk-based aerial photographer Nikolai Yenin.“This plane has been flying circles over our cities on an absolutely legal basis… We had exactly the same thing happening here in 2013, but then there were no Ukrainians on board the NATO observation plane. This is the first time we see Ukrainians spying on us along with their Americans and French colleagues,” Nikolai said.

On September 3 the NATO plane was seen flying over Novosibirsk and the next day it was seen over Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseisk, Abakan and Kemerovo.

On September 4 the Hercules left Sovosibirsk’ Tolmachevo airport and headed towards Moscow.

Since 2002, Russia, the United States and a number of other signatories to the Treaty on Open Skies have allowed a limited number of observation flights over their turf.International agreements set the number of flights, the type of surveillance equipment on board and airports that can be used.

This year, the US — which flies European Open Skies missions out of Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England — began flights to Siberia out of Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a military transport plane often used for surveillance missions.

In 1958 a C-130 was shot down by Soviet interceptors during a spy mission over Armenia.

British inspectors to perform observation flight over Russia, Belarus

MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. British inspectors will perform an observation flight over the territory of Russia and Belarus, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday.

“On June 8-11, 2015, as part of implementation of the international Open Skies Treaty, a British mission plans to perform an inspection flight over the territory of a group of states members [of the Treaty] – Belarus and the Russian Federation on board a Swedish Saab-340 observation aircraft,” acting chief of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Ruslan Shishin told TASS.

During the flight, which will be performed along an agreed route, Russian specialists on board will control the use of surveillance equipment and observation of treaty provisions, Shishin said.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and has 34 member states. It entered into force in 2002. Surveillance flights are conducted over Russia, the United States, Canada and European countries.

The key tasks of the treaty are to develop transparency, monitor the fulfillment of armament control agreements, and expand capabilities to prevent crises in the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organizations.

Russia’s defense minister says Vienna Document, Treaty on Open Skies don’t work

April 16,  MOSCOW
The agreements aimed at building trust in the military sphere between the European states are not fulfilling their purpose
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

© Vadim Savitsky/TASS

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. The Treaty on Open Skies and the Vienna Document intended to implement confidence and security building measures fail to fulfill their purposes, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the 4th Moscow international security conference on Thursday.

The minister stressed that in general the current relations between Russia and the European countries are in a state of crisis. “The confidence in which we had invested efforts and initiatives for many years is undermined. They talk to us using the language of sanctions,” Shoigu said.

“There is no success in creating a single space of peace, security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic. The proposal to conclude the Treaty on European Security is not backed. Instead, they continue forcing up the outdated schemes of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe,” he said.

On Thursday, Moscow hosts the 4th international security conference organized by the Russian Defense Ministry. A key topic of the forum is Global Security: Challenges and Prospects.The representatives of more than 70 countries, including over ten defense ministers and delegates from six international organizations, are participating in the conference, the Defense Ministry said.

Russian Inspectors to Fly Over Germany, Netherlands Under Open Skies Treaty

Antonov An-30B

Russian observation aircraft to conduct observation flight over Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg under the Treaty on Open Skies, while French inspectors will fly over the territories of Russia and Belarus.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian inspectors will conduct an observation flight over Germany, as well as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, on March 16-21 under the Treaty on Open Skies, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov announced.

The treaty, signed on March 24, 1992, in Helsinki, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states, which include the majority of NATO countries, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Sweden and Finland. Its purpose is to increase mutual understanding and promote transparency of military activities. Russia ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.

The routes of the flights have been agreed upon with the countries being inspected and specialists from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg will be present on board the Russian aircraft to monitor the use of equipment and Russian inspectors’ adherence to the Treaty on Open Skies, Ryzhkov said.


“On March 21-16 under the international Treaty on Open Skies a group of Russian inspectors plans to conduct observation flights aboard the Russian Antonov An-30B observation aircraft above the territories of Benelux and Germany,” Ryzhkov said.These will be Russia’s seventh and eighth Open Skies observation flights conducted this year.

According to Ryzhkov, the Benelux flight will be carried out at a maximum range of 945 kilometers (587 miles), while the one above German territory will be conducted at a maximum range of 1,300 kilometers (808 miles).


Meanwhile, French inspectors will conduct an observation flight over the territories of Russia and Belarus on March 16-20, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said.The flight will be carried out using the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

“The plane and the observation equipment installed on it have passed an international inspection, in which Russian specialists took part, and thus the possibility of the use of technical means not stipulated by the Treaty on Open Skies is excluded,” Ryzhkov said.


US, Czech Inspectors to Conduct Observation Flight Over Russia

American and Czech specialists will fly over Russia on March 9-14 under the Treaty on Open Skies

The head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center announced that the United States and the Czech Republic will conduct an observation flight over the territory of Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies.


MOSCOW (Sputnik) – American and Czech specialists will fly over Russia on March 9-14 under the Treaty on Open Skies, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center has announced.”In the period of March 9-14, within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies, a joint mission of the United States and the Czech Republic will conduct an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation aboard the American observation aircraft OC-135B,” Ryzhkov said.

Russian specialists on board the US aircraft will monitor the use of equipment and American and Czech inspectors’ adherence to the agreed flight parameters and the Treaty on Open Skies, according to Ryzhkov.


The Boeing OC-135B Open Skies plane is not equipped with any weapons and only uses internationally-approved observation technology allowed by the treaty.

The Treaty on Open Skies, signed in 1992, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states to promote openness and transparency of military activities.

The Open Skies treaty, whose concept was re-introduced by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, following an original proposal by President Eisenhower in 1955, came into force on January 1, 2002. Russia ratified it on May 26, 2001.


Russia to Survey Danish Air Space

Russian Federation plans to conduct an observation flight aboard an An-30B aircraft


MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia plans to launch a surveillance flight over Denmark’s territory this week as part of The Treaty on Open Skies, acting head of the Defense Ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center told journalists Sunday.

“As part of The Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian Federation plans to conduct an observation flight aboard an An-30B, outfitted with digital surveillance equipment above the territory of the Kingdom of Denmark,” Ruslan Shishin said.

Russia’s 25th surveillance flight over the territories of the Treaty’s member-states this year is planned for August 25-29.

The Russian plane is set to take off from the Aalborg Airport and take the course agreed on with Denmark. Danish experts on board the plane will control the use of the surveillance equipment and compliance with the terms of the treaty, Shishin said.

“The surveillance flight is being launched for the purposes of promoting greater openness and transparency in the military activity of the member-states of the Treaty, as well as enhancing security through stronger trust measures,” he said.

A military delegation from Denmark conducted a similar observation flight over Russia between August 18 and August 22.

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed on March 24, 1992, in Helsinki and applies to 34 countries. It came into force a decade later and established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants a direct role in gathering information about areas of concern to them.