US announces withdrawal from “Open Skies” security agreement

Donald Trump on Thursday announced the US withdrawal of the “Open Skies” treaty, which will allow the military movements and arms-control measures in the signatory countries to be verified, while leaving the door open for a renegotiation of the agreement.

The United States announced on Thursday May 21 that they are withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows peaceful air surveillance of participating countries and accuses Russia of repeated violations of the terms of the agreement.

“Russia has not respected the treaty,” the US president said. “As long as they do not respect it, we will withdraw,” he added, confirming information from the New York Times.

But Donald Trump has not closed the door for a renegotiation. “I think what is going to happen is that we will retreat and they will come back and ask to negotiate an agreement,” he said. “We have had very good relations recently with Russia.”

The withdrawal will be official in six months in accordance with the provisions of the treaty, US officials say.

Thirty-five states are parties to the Open Skies Treaty signed in 1992 and whose entry into force in 2002 carried out a project proposed nearly half a century earlier by US President Dwight Eisenhower with the idea of ​​fostering trust between countries by allowing unarmed mutual observation flights.

Already several outlets

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman says that Russia “continually and blatantly violates its obligations under the Open Skies Treaty and applies it in ways that threaten the United States, our allies and partners”.

In a statement, the White House’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the United States “will not remain signatories to international treaties violated by other parties and no longer in America’s interest.”

He cited the two treaties from which the United States has recently withdrawn: the Iranian Nuclear Program Treaty and the INF Treaty on medium-range land missiles.

“Guarantee the world’s security”

“We are ready to negotiate with Russia and China on a new arms control framework that goes beyond the structures of the Cold War’s past and that makes it possible to guarantee world security,” concluded Robert O’Brien. .

Following the announcement, Moscow responded by condemning the “battle” for European security.

>> Read also: Iranian nuclear power: why Tehran raises efforts

“The withdrawal of the United States from this treaty means not only a blow to the basis of European security but also to existing military security instruments and to the essential security interests of the United States’ own allies,” the vice said. – Russian Foreign Minister Alexandre Grouchko, quoted by the Russian authorities.

Several allies of the United States within NATO and even others like Ukraine had urged Washington not to withdraw from the treaty. The ambassadors in NATO’s member countries were called on Friday for an emergency meeting.

With AFP and Reuters