Russia denounces Treaty on Open Skies

09:09, 18 December 2021
Russia denounces Treaty on Open Skies

On December 18, Russia withdrew from the Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian media Izvestia reported.

The Russian Federation will no longer be able to make observation flights over the territory of its NATO allies. Moscow will receive information about its military facilities via satellites.

“We made every possible effort to preserve the treaty, giving the US administration the opportunity to decide to return to the Treaty," the head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control Konstantin Gavrilov said.

The Treaty on Open Skies was the second agreement in the military sphere with the participation of the Russian Federation, which the United States left. In 2019, Washington withdrew from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) and accused Russia of violating it.

Mike Pompeo, the then US Secretary of State, said Moscow was using the data obtained under the Treaty on Open Skies to aim its weapons at US and European NATO members' infrastructure as the Kremlin denied these accusations.

Moscow decided to withdraw from the Treaty after Washington's withdrawal from the agreement on November 22, 2020.

On December 17, Russia urged NATO not officially expand eastward.