Russia withdraws from the “Open Skies” treaty

Russia announced Friday its withdrawal from the “Open Skies” treaty, which verifies the military movements and arms limitation measures of the signatory countries, explaining it by the similar decision of the United States last year.

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Regretting “obstacles to the continued functioning of the treaty under current conditions”, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in a press release “to start the procedures for the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Open Skies Treaty”.

The United States officially left this international treaty, originally signed by 35 countries and entered into force in 2002, on November 22, 2020.

Since that date, “the balance of the interests of the participating States (…) has been considerably disturbed, serious damage has been caused to its functioning and the role of the Open Skies Treaty as an instrument for building confidence and security has been undermined, ”said Russian diplomacy.

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Moscow nevertheless claims to have done everything to save the treaty, but that its “concrete proposals” have “not received the support of the allies of the United States”.

The Open Skies Treaty gives each of the signatory countries “the right to drive and the obligation to accept observation flights over its territory”, in order to allow the control of their military activities and their strategic installations.

Several European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium and Spain, said last year regretted the American withdrawal from the treaty, while indicating that they shared Washington’s concerns that Moscow was not respecting the provisions of the treaty. treaty.

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