Norway, US inspectors make surveillance flight over Russia

Romainan An-30 aircraft used in Open Skies.

Norwegian and American inspectors embark on a joint inspection flight over Russian territory as part of the Open Skies Treaty.


The flight takes place in the period April 27-30 from a Romanian An-30 plane, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov says to the Ministry of Defense’s web site.

Russian specialists will be on board the aircraft to monitor the use of equipment. Ryzhkov underlines that the An-30 plane is not equipped with any weapons and only uses internationally-approved observation technology allowed by the treaty.

The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 at the initiative of U.S. President George Bush Sr., established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities.

The Open Skies regime covers the territory over which the State Party exercises sovereignty, including land, islands, and internal and territorial waters. The treaty specifies that the entire territory of a State Party is open to observation. Observation flights may only be restricted for reasons of flight safety; not for reasons of national security. Imagery collected from Open Skies missions is available to any State Party upon request.