13:34 GMT, June 8, 2010 June 7, delegation of Russian and Belarusian arms control experts which is designated to conduct observation flight over Lithuania's territory in AN-30B of the Russian Air Force arrived at the Lithuanian Air Force Air Base in Siauliai. The delegation will stay in Lithuania from 7 to 9 of June.
The observation flight is scheduled for the morning of June 9 (changes may be introduced with respect to weather conditions). It will be conducted under the OSCE Open Skies Treaty. It will be the first observation flight Russian arms control experts make under the Treaty this year.
The flight will be conducted under the regulations of the Treaty. Lithuanian representatives will accompany Russian and Belarusian delegation to confirm that the flight follows the pre-established route, to record operation of photocameras and other equipment, etc.
The Open Skies Treaty enhancing confidence and understanding between the signing parties was ratified in Helsinki in 1992. Lithuania joined the Treaty in 2004 and it came into force in July 2005.
Estonia and Latvia conducted similar training flights over the territory of Lithuania under the Open Skies Treaty in October 1999 and November 2001 respectively. In October and November of 2005 delegations of the UK and Russia, in summers of 2006 and 2007 - delegations of Russia and Belarus were sent to conduct observation flights over the Lithuanian territory. Lithuanian officers participate in all the observation flights carried out over the Baltic States.
In summer of 2003 OC-135 of the US Air Force implemented an observation flight under the Treaty over the territory of the three Baltic States. The aircraft's crew of 30 persons was formed of personnel from the US, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the UK.