On Tuesday, May 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill denouncing the Open Skies Treaty (OST), which allows member states to conduct inspection flights over each other’s territory without long-term prior notification.
The explanatory note to the bill says that the document is being introduced in connection with the withdrawal of the United States from the treaty. “On November 22, 2020, the United States withdrew from the treaty under a far-fetched pretext, which significantly upset the balance of interests of the states parties to the treaty, achieved at its conclusion. Thus, the treaty’s compliance and its significance in building confidence and transparency were seriously damaged, and national security was threatened. RF “, – indicated in the note.
The State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs will consider the presidential bill at a meeting on May 18 and propose to the House to bring it to a meeting on May 19, said the chairman of the committee Leonid Slutsky.
The procedure for withdrawing from the contract
The Russian authorities began preparations for withdrawing from the Don State in early 2021. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the decision to withdraw from participation in the agreement was made after the United States “under a far-fetched pretext” withdrew from the agreement in November 2020. In early May, the Russian government approved a proposal to withdraw from the Don.
The United States withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, explaining that Russia, in their opinion, violated the terms of the agreement. The US State Department, among other things, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that Russia is banning observation flights over Moscow, Kaliningrad, Chechnya and near the administrative borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Moscow denied these accusations, claiming in turn that Washington itself is not fulfilling the terms of the treaty.
The administration of former US President Donald Trump announced the start of withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty in May 2020. Don was the second agreement in the military sphere with the participation of Russia, from which the United States withdrew: in 2019, Washington withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), accusing Moscow of violating it. Mike Pompeo, then the US Secretary of State, said that Russia was using the data obtained under the Open Skies Treaty to aim its weapons at the infrastructure of the US and European NATO members.