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19 June


Trump turned the Open Skies into a bargain

Russia says awaiting US clarifications on withdrawal from Treaty on Open Skies

IL-76 Photo: Mil.ru

/NOVOSTIVL/ Russia is awaiting clarifications from the United States on pulling out of the Treaty on Open Skies to form an attitude toward their position, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"We did not receive official notifications or clarifications from our US partners and colleagues. This is an international treaty, it has an implementation format, it has obligations of the parties that are fixed," Zakharova was quoted by RIA Novosti.

"In this regard, public statements, to put it mildly, are not enough for drawing conclusions regarding the intentions of the US side" - Zakharova said. - "In addition to public debate, in addition to public statements, there is the usual normal practice of observing agreements and treaties. There are mechanisms for their implementation, namely there is an appropriate commission where you can come and state your claims".

The 1992 Open Skies Treaty allows the 34 signatory states -ncluding Russia, the United States and most European states - to fly unarmed camera- and radar-equipped planes along pre-negotiated routes over each other’s territory, all for the purposes of monitoring military activities and verifying compliance with other treaties.

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump said the country is withdrawing from the treaty, the latest move to abandon a major international arms control agreement.

The treaty, which became effective in 2002, allows its states-parties to conduct short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the others' entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities.

Currently, 35 nations, including Russia, the United States, and some other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have signed it. Kyrgyzstan has signed but not ratified it yet.

Washington abandoned the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow last year.