Russian arms inspectors to perform observation flight over Lithuania

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Russian arms control inspectors will carry out an observation flight over Lithuania on Thursday under the Treaty on Open Skies, the Defense Ministry said.

Under the treaty, an observation flight may be carried out over the entire territory of a treaty nation and may only be restricted for reasons of flight safety. Lithuanian military personnel will be on board the Russian Air Force's specially-equipped AN-30B aircraft throughout the flight to ensure that the Russians follow the pre-approved flight plan and use certified surveillance equipment, it said.

The aim of such observation flights is to verify compliance with existing arms control agreements. Members of the Lithuanian military also participate in such flights over foreign countries jointly with NATO allies.

This is the third observation flight over Lithuania this year. It follows flights by a group of Swedish and US arms control inspectors in June and by a group of Ukrainian arms control inspectors in July.

The Treaty on Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992. Lithuania signed the document in 2005.

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