19:38 GMT04 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The transfer of data received by the countries participating in the Open Skies Treaty to third countries that are not parties to it will be a gross violation of the "letter and spirit" of the treaty, and this must be ruled out, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said.

    "Under the agreement, any state party can request information about the flight, that is, photos [of aerial survey] from another state party. Naturally, this is not provided for third states that are not parties to the agreement. Based on the letter and spirit of the treaty, this [data transfer to non-participating states] must be ruled out. Otherwise, this will be a gross violation of the obligations that the participating states took", Grushko emphasised.

    On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the treaty, accusing Russia of breaching the agreement - a claim Russia has denied. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow is open to dialogue but only if it is based on equality and mutual respect, which the US "is not ready for".

    Signed in 1992, the Open Skies Treaty took effect in 2002. The deal stipulates implementing a programme of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of the 34 states that are members of the accord.

    transfer, treaty, Russia
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