The Treaty on Open Skies, envisaged as a confidence and security building measure in the OSCE geography, was opened for signature in 1992. Currently 34 states, including Turkey are parties to the Treaty. The Treaty establishes a regime that permits States Parties to conduct aerial observation flights over the territories of other States Parties in accordance with distributed quotas.
Observation flights are performed when the observing Party and the observed Party reach agreement on the mission plan. In the case of the observation flight requested by the Russian Federation for 2-5 February 2016, agreement could not be reached on the mission plan and the flight has thus not been conducted.
The limitations imposed by the Russian Federation on observation flights over its own territory is already known by all States Parties to the said Treaty. On the other hand, the observation flight of the Russian Federation in Turkey in December 2015, was conducted on the basis of mission plan changes as suggested by Turkey.