Following the announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the Open Sky Treaty last year, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Russia has decided to open domestic procedures for withdrawing from the Open Sky Treaty.
The treaty entered into force in 2002 and now has 34 parties, including the United States, Russia and the majority of NATO members.
The treaty aims to enhance military transparency and reduce the risk of conflict.
After the United States accused Russia of non-compliance with its treaty obligations and withdrew its treaty, Russia repeatedly hit back hard.
Russian media revealed that the decision to withdraw now is made by Russian President Putin himself.
Putin also decided to withdraw from the agreement, rather than suspend participation in the agreement.
According to the website of Russia’s Businessman on the 16th, Moscow tried to reach two things with the European member states of the treaty after the United States announced its withdrawal plan in May last year.
Either the written assurance that images taken during reconnaissance flights in Russia will not be shared with the United States, and that Russian reconnaissance aircraft will not be restricted from flying over U.S. military installations in Europe, or make relevant changes to the 2002 resolution on data protection made by the Consultative Committee within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty.
On December 22, 2020, Russia issued a warning note to the treaty partner countries: if the above conditions are not accepted by January 1, 2021, Russia will start the withdrawal process.
According to the report, NATO members refused to give Russia a written assurance.
The report pointed out that the initiative to modify the 2002 resolution seems more practical.
The Consultative Committee within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty was scheduled to hold a regular meeting on January 25.
The agenda of the meeting included this, but after receiving a collective reply from Europe, the Kremlin decided not to wait any more.
Putin’s statement in this regard hits the nail on the head.
In December 2020, at the 2020 annual press conference, Putin attacked the successive withdrawal of the United States from the ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty and the Open Sky Treaty.
Putin said: “What should we do if the United States withdraws from the Open Sky Treaty? As a NATO country, you fly in Russian airspace and then tell your American partners everything, while we are deprived of the same opportunity in American airspace.
You are all smart people. Why do you treat us as fools?”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Zaharova said on the 15th that when the United States abandoned the relevant provisions of the Open Sky Treaty and announced its withdrawal from it, the trend of breach of the Treaty was irreversible.
Even so, Russia has made every effort to retain the treaty.
According to a Russian satellite news agency on the 17th, Zakharova said in an interview that Russia’s withdrawal from the Open Sky Treaty did not send a signal to the new U.S. government, but to end the issue with the upcoming U.S. government.
Regarding the relationship between Russia and the United States, Medvedev, Vice President of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, recently said that the new U.S. government may maintain its hostile policy towards Russia and expects that Russian-US relations may be extremely cold in the next few years.
TASS reported on the 16th that Medvedev said that Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States in repairing relations between the two countries, but the United States does not necessarily have similar intentions.
In recent years, no matter who is in charge of the White House, the relationship between the two countries has declined, and the new U.S. government is likely to pursue a consistent anti-Russian policy.
Medvedev said that it is difficult for the world to cooperate with the United States now, and the United States is beginning to become more unpredictable.
Specifically, the United States began to care nothing about the interests of other countries, as well as various regional and international organizations.