US Exit of Open Skies Treaty: Russia Warns of Tough Response to Washington’s ‘Dishonest Game’

World

On Sunday, Washington confirmed that it is no longer a party to the Open Skies Treaty. This comes six months after the Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from the agreement, citing Russia’s alleged violations of the treaty and non-compliance with its terms, something Moscow has strongly rejected.

Moscow is counting on the “goodwill” of European countries against the backdrop of the US’ withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, said on Monday.

Gavrilov also accused Washington of playing a “dishonest” and “undercover” game, insisting that the US demands that its European allies sign documents so that they can transfer information about their surveillance flights over Russian facilities to Washington.

The Russian diplomat described it as a gross violation of the treaty, warning that “if the remaining member states pander to the US, our tough response will not be long in coming”.

The remarks come after the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Washington’s attitude towards the Open Skies Treaty had “changed for the worse when Russia started making regular flights over US territory, especially when our country was first to develop and install digital surveillance equipment on its Open Skies aircraft”.

“Now that it [Washington] has left the Treaty on Open…

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