The yet-unconfirmed move would mark yet another blow to the framework of confidence building measures that were put in place in the immediate aftermath of the cold war.
US President Donald Trump has moved to pull the United States out of the 1992 Treaty on Open Skies, one of the most comprehensive international agreements on transparency of military activities, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reports, citing two US government sources, says that Trump signed a document “signalling his intent” to withdraw the United States from the treaty.
The discussions are said to be underway, however, with one source quoted as saying that “anything is possible with this president.”
Open Skies, which was signed in 1992 and came into force in 2002, is part of the international effort to build confidence in Europe after the Cold War. It allows the states involved (currently 34) to conduct unarmed observation flights over the territories of other signatories to gather information about their military forces.
Between 2002 and 2016, Americans carried out 196 onservation flights over Russia, which conducted 71 missions over the US in turn. Out of the 38 missions scheduled over Russia by Open Skies states parties for 2020, the US accounts for 21 flights, the Russian Defence Ministry said last week.
As per the WSJ report, the US blames Russia for blocking an aerial observation mission near the Centre-2019 military exercise, where…