Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 23, 2006 14:44 ET

National Defence: Russian Aircraft Takes to Canadian Skies Supporting International Treaty

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 23, 2006) - A Russian aircraft carrying 30 Russian military officials arrived in 8 Wing Trenton on Saturday, October 21, 2006 and is scheduled to conduct an aeriel observation mission under the Treaty on Open Skies on Wednesday, October 25, 2006.

The Tupolev 154M aircraft will be accorded unimpeded overflight of Canadian territory in order to observe and verify objects of interest, including military installations, industrial complexes, population centres and transportation facilities.

The Treaty on Open Skies, which came into effect on January 1, 2002, allows for increased confidence and transparency amongst the 34 nations that are party to the Treaty. The Treaty constitutes a key confidence and security building measure.

Since it came into effect, Canada has flown numerous observation flights over the Russian Federation, Belarus, the Republic of Croatia and Ukraine. This Tupolev 154M flight marks the second time another Treaty nation will conduct an observation flight in Canada, the first being September 2004. Canadian military escort personnel will be aboard the Russian aircraft throughout the observation mission to monitor imaging equipment and adherence to the agreed flight route and profile.

Canada is an active participant in the international proliferation security regime and is a signatory to several treaties dedicated to the elimination, reduction or control 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.

Contact Information