21:38 GMT24 February 2021
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    US State Department says that the restrictive measures, imposed by Washington on Russia within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty are reversible.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Measures limiting restrictions on Russian flights over the United States for violations of the Open Skies Treaty are reversible if Moscow moves back into compliance with the terms of the treaty, a US Department of State spokesperson told Sputnik.

    "The US response measures are reversible should Russia come back into compliance with its Open Skies Treaty obligations," the official said on Thursday. "We encourage Russia to engage with us constructively about our concerns. We will carefully review any Russian measures once they are announced and clarified."

    In June, the United States claimed Russia was violating the terms of the Open Skies Treaty by placing restrictions on its overflights of Kaliningrad, Russia's enclave on the Baltic Sea. Washington promised to implement restrictions on Russia, including plans to close the airspace over the states of Alaska and Hawaii to Russian observers and limit the range of flights, beginning January 1.

    Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the Washington's claim by saying that Moscow does not consider US complaints about Russia’s alleged violation of the Treaty on Open Skies to be reasonable. An informed source told Sputnik earlier that Russia would limit the number of airfields that can be used by US surveillance aircraft within the framework of the treaty as a mirror response to the US restrictive measures.

    Signed in 1992, the Treaty on Open Skies became one of the measures to build confidence in the post-Cold War Europe. It has been operating since 2002 and allows participating countries to openly collect information on each other's military forces and activities.


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