Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) a draft law to repeal the Open Skies Treaty. The Russian State Duma will pass a bill to repeal the Open Skies Treaty, said Slutsky, chairman of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee.
Russia: The United States is fully responsible for the collapse of the treaty
Russia has repeatedly said that the United States has repeatedly ignored Russia’s offer to return to the treaty, so the United States should bear full responsibility for the collapse of the Open Skies Treaty.
In May 2020, the U.S. government accused Russia of violating the Open Skies Treaty, and the U.S. State Department informed the other parties to the treaty of its withdrawal. At the time, Russia had said that the U.S. accusations were completely unfounded. But in November of the same year, the United States announced its formal withdrawal from the treaty. Regarding the actions of the United States, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova has pointed out that the accession of the United States to the Open Skies Treaty is the most important condition for the ratification of the Treaty by the Russian Parliament in 2001, which provides that Russia and NATO countries can observe each other’s territory, but after November 22, 2020, NATO countries continue to observe Russian territory, while Russia is unable to observe the United States territory. Zakharova said Russia has done everything possible to maintain the treaty, but the U.S. withdrawal fundamentally changed the terms accepted by all parties at the time of the treaty’s formation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Zakharova said: “The total responsibility for the collapse of the Open Skies Treaty lies with the United States and its allies, it is the withdrawal of the United States that fundamentally changed the situation when the treaty was formed, undermining the balance of interests among member states.”
U.S. repeatedly reneges on international commitments Russia forced to withdraw from Open Skies Treaty
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council, said Russia’s withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty was the only option that was forced in the event that the United States withdrew from the treaty last November and repeatedly ignored Russia’s offer to return the United States to the treaty.
Vyacheslav Volokin, president of the Russian State Duma, also pointed out that the United States continues to violate international commitments for its own benefit, undermining the entire international security architecture. Under such circumstances, Russia would have to opt out of the Open Skies Treaty because it could not put national security at risk.