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    US Taking Measures Over Russia's Alleged Violation of Open Skies Treaty

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    The Treaty on Open Skies was initially aimed at promoting transparency and trust between the parties during the Cold War era, however, nowadays it turned into another subject of contention between the US and Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States will take measures in response to Russia's alleged violations of the Open Skies Treaty, a State Department official told Sputnik.

    "‎We have long had concerns about Russia’s implementation of the Open Skies Treaty. After repeated, unsuccessful attempts to engage Moscow diplomatically, we have elected to take some reasonable and comparable steps in response to Russia’s non-compliance," the official said.

    He added that the US administration was expecting that the measures would change Russia’s calculus and encourage the country to comply with its obligations under the treaty.

    The official also stressed that the US was ready to reverse these measures at any time, should Russia come back into compliance with its Open Skies Treaty obligations.

    Earlier in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US authorities were going to announce restrictions on Russian observation flights over the US soil within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty, beginning on January 1, 2018. According to the sources cited by the WSJ, the United States has considered restrictions on Russia’s flights over Alaska and Hawaii, among other possibilities.

    Same day, Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov countered that all complaints should be handled professionally in compliance with the treaty.

    The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 and entered into force on January 1, 2002. It became one of the major confidence-building and arms-control measures in Europe after the Cold War. The treaty has established a system of observation flights over the states party to the accord in order to gather information about their military forces and activities.

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    Treaty on Open Skies, United States, Russia
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