16:42 GMT26 July 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The online conference discussing Russia's departure from the Open Skies Treaty on Tuesday served as yet another confirmation for Moscow that its decision to withdraw was correct, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    The Russian delegation at the conference was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

    "The conference has become Russia's last political threshold toward withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. It confirmed the validity of the decision we made regarding the futility of Russia's further participation in that treaty," the ministry said in a statement.

    The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and became effective ten years later to allow the signatories to conduct unarmed observation flights over each other's territories on short notice.

    In May 2020, then-US President Donald Trump initiated the six-month withdrawal procedure of his country from the Open Skies Treaty, citing violations by Russia — an allegation denied by Moscow. The US officially terminated its membership last November, while Russia left it this June.
    reconnaissance flights, observation flight, decision, US, Russia, aircraft
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