It is sad that the Open Skies Treaty (OON) is dead because of the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on November 24.
“It is sad that another instrument of maintaining global stability and security – the Open Skies Treaty – has fallen asleep thanks to the decision of the United States,” Lavrov said on the air of the Russia 24 TV channel.
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, other Western members of the Don “are still embarrassed to call a spade a spade, try to put a good face on a bad game and avoid critical criticism of the United States,” realizing that the loss of the treaty would be a loss of security in Europe.
He stressed that such decisions are made “like a blueprint.”
“Both the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty were torn apart by the United States, citing the fact that these documents were systematically violated long ago by the Russian Federation – again, unfounded, again, without facts, again, hiding the fact that suspicions of violation against the United States are numbered in dozens of cases, and all this is well known, ”Lavrov said.
On the night of November 22, the United States completed the procedure for withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow will seek firm guarantees that the states remaining in the treaty will fulfill their obligations. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty makes the treaty unviable.
On November 23, Anton Morozov, a member of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, said that the US withdrawal from the Don would not create significant threats to Russia’s security. On the same day, the UN noted that the decision of the US authorities to withdraw from the Don is regrettable.
In May, US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the agreement. His decision was condemned in Europe and Russia. In July, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the National Center for Nuclear Risk Reduction, explained that the United States had decided to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty in order to avoid inspection of American territory.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002. It allows the participating countries to make reconnaissance flights over each other’s territories.