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Lavrov: Russia’s continuation of the Open Skies Treaty is premised on strict compliance by other States parties

Lavrov: Russia's continuation of the Open Skies Treaty is premised on strict compliance by other States parties

November 24th local time, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that Russia’s continued presence in the Open Skies Treaty was premised on the strict compliance of the Treaty by other parties.

The Russian side intends to continue relevant cooperation within the framework of this important treaty, provided that the parties hold the consensus that “the existing parties will strictly abide by the provisions of the treaty”.

Including that the information collected by the parties when observing flights over the other’s territory only applies only to the existing parties to the treaty, and that one of the States parties that can be investigated is determined to be investigated.

Targets in the territory must be observed and flown without exception. Lavrov stressed that Russia has always strictly abided by the provisions of the treaty

But since “the performance of Western colleagues is not always a gentleman”, Russia hopes that the Western countries remaining in the treaty can reconfirm their obligations under the treaty at the legal level, so that Russia can make a corresponding decision on whether to renew the contract.

On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Riabkov said that Moscow did not rule out the possibility of withdrawing from the Open Sky Treaty after the United States, nor did it exclude other options, including a medium-term solution. Riabkov added that what kind of action Russia will take on the treaty in the future depends on the level of collaboration among other parties, especially among the allies of the United States.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and became one of the initiatives to build strategic security confidence in Europe after the Cold War. The treaty has been implemented since 2002, allowing participating countries to disclose and collect information about military forces and activities from each other.

U.S. President Trump announced in May 2020 that the United States had initiated the withdrawal process from the Open Skies Treaty on the grounds that Russia violated the Treaty. Russia has repeatedly refuted the U.S. breach of contract. On November 22, the U.S. government announced that the United States officially withdrew from the Open Sky Treaty.

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