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NATO does not comment on Turkey’s denial of observation flight for Russia

February 04, 9:03 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Turkey has denied the Russian Federation an observation flight over its territory that was to be held within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty
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BRUSSELS, February 3. /TASS/. NATO does not comment on Turkey’s denial of an observation flight for the Russian Federation under the Open Skies Treaty, the North Atlantic alliance told TASS.

The Turkish authorities should be asked about it, NATO said.

A senior Russian Defense Ministry official said Wednesday Turkey has denied the Russian Federation an observation flight over its territory that was to be held within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty.

Sergey Ryzhkov, chief of the ministry’s department for control of implementation of treaties, recalled that the flight was to be held above Turkey on February 1-5, 2016 on board an An-30B aircraft and "no preliminary conditions or restrictions for Russia’s surveillance flight were voiced by the Turkish side."

"The route supposed, among other things, observation of areas adjacent to the Syrian border and airfields where NATO aircraft are concentrated. But after the arrival of the Russian mission in Turkey and the announcement of the planned route of the observation flight, the Turkish military denied the opportunity to conduct it citing an instruction from Turkey’s Foreign Ministry," Ryzhkov said.

"In this way, as a result of violations of the requirements of the Treaty and unconstructive actions on the part of Turkey, a dangerous precedent was created of an uncontrolled military activity of an Open Skies Treaty member state," he said.

"We are not going to leave without proper attention and relevant reaction violations of the Open Skies Treaty on the part of the Turkish Republic," Ryzhkov said.

On Tuesday, the Defense Ministry official told journalists that another Russian group of inspectors should conduct an inspection in a Turkish region within the framework of another international treaty - the 2011 Vienna document on confidence and security building measures. Russian inspectors are to visit ranges and get briefed by the Turkish military units command.

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.

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