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Picture Finnish Defence Forces.

Open Skies Treaty

The Open Skies Treaty is part of the OSCE's arms control system.

The 34 signatories conduct unarmed aerial surveillance and photography in each others' air spaces. The Open Skies Treaty is actively implemented and it is in fact one of the most successful arms control agreements. The aerial surveillance flights help member states to keep up-to-date on each others' military developments.

Finland signed the agreement in 2003. All of Finland's neighbouring countries have also signed the treaty. Finland hosts five Open Skies flights a year. Finland aims to complete at least two surveillance flights a year abroad, Russia being one example of a country where it completes such flights.

All in all, over a hundred aerial surveillance flights are carried out around the world annually. All data gathered during these flights is freely available to all signatory countries.

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