Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 23, 2012 12:00 ET

Russian Observation Aircraft Takes to Canadian Skies Under International Treaty

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2012) - Between June 26 to 28, 2012, a Russian Federation Tupolev TU-154M aircraft will conduct observation flights over Canada, in accordance with the Treaty on Open Skies.

A Tupolev TU-154M aircraft, which arrived at 8 Wing Trenton today, will be accorded its legal right of an unimpeded observation overflight of Canadian territory, in fulfillment 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 or concern, such as military installations, industrial complexes, population centres and transportation facilities.

The Treaty on Open Skies, which entered into force on January 1, 2002, promotes increased confidence and transparency among the 34 nations that are parties to the treaty. Canada has exercised its treaty rights by having previously conducted a number of observation flights over several states, including Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine.

This flight marks the eighth time a foreign state party will have conducted an observation flight over Canada, the first having taken place in September 2004. For reasons of safety, security and compliance, Canadian military personnel will escort the Russian aircraft at all times.

Canada is a signatory to several security treaties, including those dedicated to the elimination, reduction or control of weapons of mass destruction and conventional armaments. The Treaty on Open Skies is one example of how Canada exercises its commitment to reducing the threat of armed conflict by increasing trust and confidence through developing greater openness and transparency between states.

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