The Trump administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty in May, accusing Russia of violating its conditions. Moscow dismissed the allegations. With the scrapping of Open Skies as far as the US is concerned, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is now the last major arms control agreement between Russia and the US.
The White House National Security Council has formally confirmed that the United States is no longer a party to the Open Skies Treaty, announcing the decision on Twitter.
The US formally announced its intention to abandon the Open Skies Treaty on 22 May, accusing Moscow of violating the treaty and using imagery obtained during flights to support a doctrine of targeting critical US and European civilian and military infrastructure with precision-guided conventional munitions. Russia dismissed the allegations and suggested that the real reason for the US decision was Washington’s six to seven year competence gap in technologies related to the treaty.
Moscow indicated earlier Sunday that it would seek to save Open Skies, with the US’s NATO allies, as well as Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Ukraine and several other nations remaining members.
Washington’s formal withdrawal from the treaty was preceded by repeated freezes to co-operation by Congress, with the US beginning to make its claims about Russia’s alleged violations in 2017. Rumours that the US may scrap Open Skies…