Russia Withdrew From Open Skies Treaty
On May 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on denunciation of the Open Skies Treaty.
On June 2, the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) approved the law, voting unanimously (152 votes) in favor of the accord’s denunciation. On May 19, the law was unanimously adopted by the State Duma (the lower house of Russia’s parliament).
Moscow had launched internal state procedures for exiting the Treaty on Open Skies in January, according to Russian Foreign Ministry. It was a response to the absence of progress in removing obstacles for the Treaty’s continuation after the US abandoned the deal in November 2020. In April Washington once again proclaimed that it had not decided yet on rejoining the Open Skies Treaty.
According to the reports, on May 27, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman informed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov of Washington’s decision not to reenter the Treaty on Open Skies.
The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992 and entered into force ten years later, has become one of the confidence-building measures in post-Cold War Europe. It allowed member states to openly collect information about each other’s military forces and activities.
Until recently, 34 states were parties to the agreement. However, no hopes left that the role of this tool for building confidence and global security would be restored.
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