Russia, Georgia to Meet Monday for Open Skies Treaty Talks – Source

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the mediabankA Tu-214 ON (Open Skies) reconnaissance aircraft. (File)
A Tu-214 ON (Open Skies) reconnaissance aircraft. (File) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia and Georgia will try Monday to salvage the Open Skies Treaty that allows for reciprocal observation flights, after this year’s arrangements were put on hold over a continuing row.

The 1992 treaty between 34 countries on the open collection of military data became one of the measures to build confidence in the post-Cold War Europe. Reciprocal flights in Russia and Georgia in 2018 were called into question after Tbilisi refused to open its sky to Russian jets.

“No decision was made in January. Now everyone is waiting for February 26 when the Open Skies Consultative Commission convenes in Vienna. The Russian-Georgian dispute is hindering decision-making,” a military-diplomatic source told Sputnik.

A Boeing OC-135B Open Skies aircraft - Sputnik International
Open Skies Treaty: Russia's Restrictions for US Observers Enter Force
Georgia is backed in its standoff with Russia by the United States, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the Baltic trio. The United States reportedly plans to limit Russian flights over Alaska and Hawaii.

The source suggested that the next opportunity for Moscow and Tbilisi to work out their differences will be at the Commission’s meeting in March. He said no observation flights were scheduled for the winter season due to adverse weather conditions.

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