Putin Pulls Out Of International Treaty

Putin Pulls Out Of International Treaty That’s Falling Apart

As with many pacts made during the Cold War, the Open Skies Treaty may well be reaching its sunset.

Envisioned by President Dwight Eisenhower and put into place by President George H.W. Bush, the Open Skies treaty signed by the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, among other nations, allowed short term, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the signatory nations by other signatories.

In his last year in office, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the treaty. This week, another signatory withdrew more or less making the treaty a shell of what it was meant to be.

Vladimir Putin has signed a bill that will formally withdraw Russia from an international treaty allowing spy flights over member states.

It comes after Donald Trump withdrew the US from the pact last year, and President Biden said last month that he has no intention to re-enter the agreement.

The treaty – dubbed Open Skies – had allowed signatories to make short-notice, unarmed observation flights over other countries that had signed up to the pact, including over military bases.

The idea was to promote stability and prevent conflicts by giving each country a clear idea of what the others were doing, particularly when manoeuvering troops or military hardware.

Russia’s withdrawal will take effect in six months. The US completed its withdrawal in November last year…

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said last week that Open Skies is unlikely to feature since the US has made its position on the pact ‘clear’.

Russian lawmakers in both the upper and lower houses of parliament had earlier voted in favor of ending Moscow’s participation in Open Skies.

Members of the accord included countries across Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Canada.

Moscow and Washington had long accused each other of breaching the terms of the agreement, and then-US President Donald Trump formally pulled the US out last November.

The Open Skies Treaty is one of several cold war leftovers President Trump discontinued during his first term. Russia has signaled a willingness to renegotiate some of them, but will not do so until a summit later in the year between Putin and Joe Biden to attempt to be on the same page as a starting place.

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