US withdraws ‘Open Skies’ agreement with Russia, sets condition for reconsideration

by Akeem Alao
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The United States has announced the country’s withdrawal from the Open Skies agreement with Russia, setting a condition for reconsidering this withdrawal.

This was disclosed on Thursday May 21, 2020, by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo stated that the US will not be a party to the agreement after six months.

He explained that Washington may reconsider the withdrawal if Moscow fully complies with the terms of the treaty.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump announced that his country had withdrawn from the “open skies” agreement with Russia, which is the third arms control treaty to abolish it since he came to power.

Reacting to the withdrawal, Russia stressed that the United States withdrew from the “Open Skies” agreement for the security of the European continent.

The “Open Skies” agreement between Russia and the United States and 32 other countries, most of which are affiliated with NATO, allows the army of a member country to carry out a specified number of reconnaissance flights over another member country shortly after being informed of the matter.

The plane can survey the land beneath it, and collect information and pictures of military installations and activities.

The idea is that the more rival armies know more about each other, the less likely they will be in conflict. But the two sides use flights to check the opponent’s weaknesses.

US Department of Defense spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman, said, “Russia flagrantly and continuously violates its obligations to this agreement.”

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