Foreign Ministry: Russia's withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty destroys European security architecture

Foreign Ministry: Russia's withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty destroys European security architecture

Ukrinform
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has stated that the decision of the Russian Federation to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty is aimed at destroying the European security architecture and international arms control regimes.

The Ministry underscores that Russia was grossly violating the Open Skies Treaty in 2009-2020, in particular by reducing its scope due to the occupation of parts of Ukraine and Georgia.

"We consider this decision as another example of Russia's pursuance of the foreign policy aimed at destroying the European security architecture and international arms control regimes, undermining fundamental norms and principles of international law," reads the Foreign Ministry’s comment.

Ukrainian diplomats stressed that the Open Skies Treaty remains an important legally binding international arms control agreement that ensures transparency between member states through observation flights over each other's territories.

On January 15, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced the beginning of the procedure for Russia's withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed on March 24, 1992 in Helsinki (Finland) by 27 CSCE participating states (OSCE since 1995). The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002. Its current members are 33 countries: Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Kingdom, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine, France, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Croatia.

The agreement establishes the open skies regime - member states can conduct observation flights over each other's territory to control and monitor military activities, crisis situations, etc.

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