US President Donald Trump has announced that the country will withdraw from the open skies Treaty, but its renewal is possible.
“I think we have excellent relations with Russia, but Russia did not adhere to the Treaty. Therefore, until they stick, we will go out. But there is a perfect chance that we can reach a new agreement or do something to bring this agreement back together again.”
Later, Secretary of state Mike Pompeo clarified that Washington would withdraw from the agreement in six months. The diplomat also stressed that the US authorities might reconsider this decision if Moscow “returns to compliance” with the Treaty.
In turn, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told that there are no violations of the Agreement by Moscow.
“We reject any attempts to justify withdrawal from this first agreement by the presence of certain technical problems. Nothing prevents the continuation of the discussion of these technical issues, which today the US is trying to issue as some violations on the part of Russia,” the diplomat said.
According to him, to continue the dialogue, it is not necessary to withdraw from the agreement, but when you exit, the solution of technical issues becomes impossible.
Grushko stressed that the open skies Treaty has supported peace and security in Europe for more than 20 years and “was an integral part of the military security system, where all elements are interconnected.”
Washington has previously said that Moscow violated the Treaty by withdrawing permission to fly the US-Canadian mission in September 2019. Russia has denied these accusations and pointed to violations by the United States. In particular, in 2016, Washington did not ensure the safe arrival of a Russian plane, refusing to provide the necessary number of intermediate airfields.
The open skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and became one of the confidence-building measures in Europe after the cold war. It has been in effect since 2002 and allows participating countries to openly collect information about each other’s armed forces and activities. 34 States signed the Treaty.