Officially, the American authorities did not announce plans to withdraw from the treaty
Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, opposes the Donald Trump administration’s alleged plans to withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty.
In a letter to White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Engel stressed that withdrawal from the treaty would be a gift to Russia and a blow to US national security interests, and would pose a threat to Ukraine and other key European allies..
“The US withdrawal will only benefit Russia and harm the interests of our allies and partners in the field of national security,” the legislator said, without specifying the source of his information..
So far, the United States has not officially announced plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty and dispelled rumors in this regard..
However, Engel said that “a withdrawal could divide the transatlantic alliance and further undermine America’s credibility as a stable and predictable European security partner.”.
The chairman of the committee said that Congress is aware of some problems with Russia related to the implementation of the treaty..
“Russia continues to act in a way that is not expected of it. Therefore, I support the administration’s efforts to ensure the full applicability of the treaty to the Kaliningrad region and the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and support the imposed retaliatory restrictions on Russian flights over US territory, “he said..
At the same time, according to Engel, it is clear to him that “these fears about compliance with the treaty cannot be regarded as a material breach of the treaty, as a reason that is presented as a basis for a possible withdrawal” from the treaty.
Russia announces exit from Open Skies treaty after U.S. withdrawal
From his point of view, since its entry into force in 2002, the treaty has provided important military transparency for the 34 signatory countries..
“The Open Skies Treaty allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe to track Russian military deployments,” Engel wrote. – Observation flights under the treaty provided additional information about Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and became a deterrent for further Russian aggression in this country. NATO allies and partners, in particular Ukraine, have repeatedly stressed the importance of the Open Skies Treaty to their efforts to monitor Russian military action. “.
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