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Polish Military Inspectors to Fly Over Russia, Belarus

MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti) — Polish military inspectors will make surveillance flights over the territories of Russia and Belarus under the international Open Skies Treaty starting on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Polish experts will conduct the inspection flights on board an Antonov An-30B (Clank) aircraft between July 8 and 12, the statement said.

The Open Skies Treaty, which came into force on January 1, 2002, establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and the transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the deal in May 2001.

Under the treaty, each aircraft flying under the Open Skies program is fitted with a sensor suite including optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, thermal infrared imaging sensors, and imaging radar.

The image data recorded during the observation flights can be shared among all signatories to support the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control treaties.

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