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US formally withdraws from Open Skies Treaty

US formally withdraws from Open Skies Treaty

Nov 23, 2020

Washington (US), November 23: The United States has formally left the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows members to conduct surveillance flights over each other's territory. The activities they can observe include arms reduction.
The treaty has more than 30 participants, including Russia and a number of major European countries. It was signed in 1992 after the Cold War, and took effect in 2002.
The United States issued a notice about its decision to withdraw in May. It accused Moscow of illegally restricting flights over areas along the Russian border.
The withdrawal took effect on Sunday because six months had elapsed since the notification.
In a statement released the same day, Russia's foreign ministry accused the United States of using Russia as an excuse to leave the treaty.
It also called on other state parties not to provide the United States with information obtained from flights over Russia.
Surveillance flights are said to be less important due to advances in reconnaissance satellite technology. However, some say the departure of the United States could trigger a new arms race.
Source: NHK World