The United States Withdraws From 'Open Sky Treaty'

Date:May 26, 2020

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On May 21st, Eastern Time, the United States State Department issued a statement saying that the United States will withdraw from the "Open Sky Treaty" on the 22nd and submit notice of withdrawal decisions to other contracting states. On the same day, US President Trump stated that the reason why the United States withdrew from the "Open Sky Treaty" was because Russia violated the treaty and obtained aerial reconnaissance images through the US commercial satellite faster and cheaper. Sign a new agreement to make up for the withdrawal of the United States.

In this regard, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov accused the United States of blatantly violating the relevant provisions of the Open Sky Treaty and promised to submit specific evidence to other parties. Ryabkov also stated that Russia does not accept allegations of repeated violations of the "Open Sky Treaty" by the United States, and said that the American accusations have no basis in fact.

Earlier on May 22, France, Germany and other 10 European countries issued a joint statement expressing regret that President Trump decided to withdraw from the Open Sky Treaty the day before because Russia did not fully comply with the agreement.

On May 22, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borelli urged Russia to abide by the relevant provisions of the "Open Sky Treaty" on the 22nd local time to try treaty.

In 1992, the 27 member states of the European Security Organization, including the United States and Russia, signed the protocol of the "Open Sky Treaty" in Helsinki, Finland.

According to the content of the "Open Sky Treaty", the parties to the treaty must inform the other party and negotiate before conducting reconnaissance over the other parties. During the reconnaissance, they must strictly follow the flight path agreed by the two parties, while allowing the reconnaissance party or third party to board the aircraft. Observers are assigned to supervise the compliance of the reconnaissance equipment, and report flight plans to the treaty, and open reconnaissance image data to all Contracting States after the reconnaissance flight is over.