Both countries scheduled surveillance flights
As reported by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Canada within a joint mission with Hungary and the United States will conduct an observation flight over Russia between July 22-26, 2019, implementing the international Open Skies Treaty.
The flight along the previously agreed route will be carried out onboard a Hungarian AN-26 observation airplane, departing from the Kubinka airfield in the Moscow region. This type of aircraft is not designed for weaponry. Moreover, Russian specialists will accompany the mission to monitor compliance with provisions of the Treaty and the use of equipment.
“The aircraft and observation equipment installed on it (aerial cameras) underwent an international certification, in which Russian specialists took part, which precludes the use of technical means not covered by the Treaty.”
In turn, Russia is going to make an observation flight over Canada on board a Russian aircraft Tu-154M LK-1. According to Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the National Centre for Nuclear Risk Reduction, the flight with a maximum range of 6,150 kilometres will be carried out from the Open Skies airfield of Iqaluit, NT. Canadian specialists will fly along with their Russian colleagues to monitor the agreed parameters of the observation.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 party states. This document creates an opportunity to conduct scheduled unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants to gather information about their military forces and activities.