18:37 GMT15 May 2021
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    The Treaty on Open Skies, adopted in 2002 by 34 states, establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.

    Russia has notified the US of rejecting several agreements within the Open Skies Treaty, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

    "Continuing the general policy seeking to further degrade relations with Russia, Washington absolutely groundlessly accused the Russian Federation of violating the Treaty on Open Skies and took unilateral steps to create obstacles to the Russian 'Open Skies' missions conducted over the territory of the United States. In this regard, and based on the principle of reciprocity, Russia was forced to take adequate measures that are procedural in nature," Zakharova told reporters.

    The spokeswoman noted that the point was that "the Russian side stated in the consultative committee on the Open Skies about the intention to cancel overnight stays at three airfields during flights involving the United States."

    "In addition, in December, a note was sent by the Russian side on the termination of a number of bilateral agreements with the United States starting from January 1, 2018, which related to facilitating the implementation of flights under the treaty," Zakharova added.

    The confirmation came a day after an informed source told Sputnik that Russia would limit the number of airfields that can be used by US surveillance aircraft within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty starting January 1.

    The same source said that such a decision was made as a mirror response to US-announced measures that include intentions of the United States to close the airspace over Alaska and Hawaii to Russian observers and limit the range of flights.

    READ MORE: Russian Reduction of Open Skies Airfield Access to US May Reflect Worsening Ties

    The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002, and 34 states are party to the agreement. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.


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