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    Russia Prepared Response to Potential US Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty - Moscow

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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Russia has prepared a response to the possible US withdrawal from the multilateral Treaty on Open Skies, Vladimir Ermakov, the director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said amid media reports on the potential withdrawal.

    "Of course. We have prepared everything. You will see", Ermakov said Wednesday, when asked if Russia would take any response action in case the United States pulled out of the treaty.

    "Any decisions of the United States on its withdrawal from any binding agreement is a blow to international security. Unfortunately, our US colleagues have been deliberately doing it since the late 90s […] That is why we would not say that the current statement on the possible [US] withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies was a big surprise for us", Ermakov continued.

    US President Donald Trump was reportedly on the verge last month of pulling Washington out of the Open Skies Treaty, which was signed in 1992 and went into effect a decade later.

    The Open Skies Treaty allows parties to carry out aerial surveillance through scheduled observation flights over each participating state. More than 30 countries are participating in the program, which was created to boost the transparency of military activities.

    According to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, "the recent actions of the United States suggest that it could ruin the whole system of international agreements, at least those in the area of strategic stability and arms control".

     

     

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    withdrawal, Open Skies Treaty, United States, Russia
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