Russia formally quits Open Skies Treaty after US withdrawal

Russia formally quits Open Skies Treaty after US withdrawal

Russia has officially left the Open Skies arms control treaty following the United States’ unilateral exit from the pact last year, saying Washington bears “full responsibility” for the post-Cold War accord’s demise.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the decision to withdraw from the treaty, which allows reconnaissance flights over the participants’ entire territory, was ultimately made after US allies’ failure to give Russia firm guarantees that information collected during overflights would not be handed over to Washington.

The ministry said without US and Russian participation, the effectiveness of the treaty would decline dramatically. “Full responsibility for the degradation of the agreement lies at the feet of the initiator of the collapse of the Treaty on Open Skies: the United States of America.”

“We respect the decision of the participating States remaining in the Treaty to continue its implementation. We wish them constructive and fruitful collaboration. However, it is obvious…

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