US tells Russia it will not rejoin Open Skies deal

US tells Russia it will not rejoin key arms control deal
The treaty permits unarmed surveillance flights over more than 30 participating countries. Source: AIRTEAMIMAGES.COM
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The United States has told Russia that it will not rejoin Open Skies, an arms control deal that permits unarmed aerial flights over dozens of participating countries.

The Open Skies Treaty “has been undermined by Russia’s violations” and its failure to return to compliance, the US Department of State said.

Russia denies the allegations, and Moscow is also expected to withdraw from the treaty this year.

The deal allows short-notice flights to monitor military activity.

More than 30 countries participate in the treaty which came into force in 2002.

On Thursday, the state department said: “The United States regrets that the Treaty on Open Skies has been undermined by Russia’s violations.”

“In concluding its review of the treaty, the US therefore does not intend to seek to rejoin it, given Russia’s failure to take any actions to return to compliance.

Under the previous US administration under Donald Trump, Washington withdrew from the treaty. Joe Biden, the then-presidential candidate, called the move short-sighted.

America’s announcement on Thursday means only one major arms control treaty between the US and Russia, both nuclear powers, remains in place – the New Start treaty.

The New Start treaty sets limits on deployments of strategic nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

The announcement also comes as President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are preparing for a summit in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16 June.

You may read: China hits back as US revisits Wuhan lab leak theory