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News > Russia

Russia to Complete Observation Flight Over Turkey

  • Russia to Complete Observation Flight Over Turkey
Published 24 February 2020

Tensions have increased between Moscow and Ankara following the Syrian military's offensive in Idlib, which has resutled in the capture of nearly half of the province.

Russia will carry out an observation flight over Turkey between Tuesday and Friday under the multilateral Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.


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Russia's Tu-154M LK-1 observation plane will take off from northwest Turkey's Eskisehir airfield and cover up to 1,900 kilometers over the member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the ministry said.

The Treaty on Open Skies took effect in 2002 and currently has 34 party states, including Russia, the United States, Turkey and some other NATO members.

The confidence-building and arms-control agreement has established a system of observation flights over its participants to gather information about their military forces and activities.

Russia and Turkey are planning a series of consultations regarding Syria's last rebel stronghold of Idlib, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Moscow hopes both countries can ensure Idlib becomes a real de-escalation zone, free of militants, Lavrov said at a press conference.

The de-escalation zone in Idlib is turning into "an escalation zone" as militants there attack targets outside the zone, he said.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the recent escalation of tensions in Idlib during a telephone conversation. The two countries said their militaries would continue to maintain close contact.


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