Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 28, 2009 16:30 ET

Russian Aircraft Takes to Canadian Skies in Implementing International Treaty

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2009) - A Russian Federation aircraft will conduct an aerial observation mission over Canada under the Treaty on Open Skies between Saturday, October 31 and Monday, November 2, 2009.

A Tupolev TU-154M aircraft, which arrived at 8 Wing Trenton today, will be accorded its legal right of unimpeded observation overflight of Canadian territory in fulfilment of Canada's obligations as a State Party to the Treaty on Open Skies. Using an array of onboard imagery systems, the aircraft can observe and verify objects of interest, such as military installations, industrial complexes, population centres and transportation facilities.

The Treaty on Open Skies, which entered-into-effect on January 1, 2002, allows for increased confidence and transparency amongst the 34 nations that are party to the Treaty. Canada has exercised its Treaty rights in having conducted a number of observation flights over other States Parties, including the Russian Federation, Belarus, the Republic of Croatia, Georgia and Ukraine.

This flight marks the fifth time another Treaty nation will conduct an observation flight in Canada, the first being September 2004. Canadian military escort and technical personnel will be aboard the Russian aircraft throughout the observation mission to ensure compliance by monitoring imaging systems and adherence to the agreed flight route and profile.

Canada is a signatory to several treaties dedicated to the elimination, reduction or control of weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms. The Treaty on Open Skies is but one example of how Canada exercises its commitment to limit and lower the threshold of conflict and increase trust and security by developing greater openness and transparency amongst states.

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