January 20 Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Graz said on the 20th that the Open Skies Treaty remains relevant as a tool to ensure transparency and predictability in the military field.
In response to media questions on the same day, Graz said that Belarus was disturbed and worried about the continued erosion of the international treaty system in the fields of non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control, including the Open Sky Treaty, and believed that the current development of the situation, mainly caused by the withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty, undermined the Open Sky system and made people think that The vitality of the treaty is doubtful.
He said that the White side has reiterated on many occasions that the Open Skies Treaty remains relevant as a tool to ensure transparency and predictability in the military field.
In October 2020, the States parties to the Open Skies Treaty also reaffirmed the importance of the Treaty as an integral part of Euro-Atlantic security.
The White side still believes that all issues related to the treaty should be resolved through dialogue on an equal and mutually respectful basis, taking into account each other’s interests and concerns.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002.
Participating States to the Treaty may conduct unarmed aerial reconnaissance of each other’s territory as required.
The treaty is an important confidence-building measure after the end of the cold war, which helps to enhance transparency and reduce the risk of conflict.
The United States, Russia and most NATO countries have signed this treaty.
In May 2020, the U.S. Department of State immediately notified other parties to the Treaty of the Treaty of Rescision. In this regard, Russia said that the accusations made by the United States were groundless.
In November of the same year, the United States announced its official withdrawal from the treaty. On the 15th of this month, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that Russia decided to open domestic procedures for withdrawing from the Open Sky Treaty.
The statement said that the withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty caused huge losses to the Treaty in strengthening security and mutual trust.
Russia has put forward specific proposals, hoping to maintain the validity of the treaty under the new conditions. Russia regrets that the United States has failed to support the Russian proposal.