The U.S. is considering all possible scenarios for the implementation of the Treaty on Open Skies and calls on Russia to return to its implementation. This was stated by the head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow, John Sullivan, during a briefing on Wednesday, April 22.
“The U.S. has not withdrawn from the Treaty on Open Skies, we continue to implement the treaty and fulfill all obligations,” the ambassador said during a conversation with journalists.
He noted that the U.S. has repeatedly recorded violations of the agreement by the Russian side.
“Taking into account the violations of the agreement, we are currently weighing the pros and cons of participation, considering all opportunities under the agreement.
Earlier, April 21, the U.S. administration expressed its desire to continue cooperation under the agreement.
The same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that based on the conclusions of experts, as well as contacts with the U.S. side, Moscow tends to believe that Washington has already decided to withdraw from the treaty.
Lavrov called the accusations against Russia in violation of the document groundless, recalling that the U.S. also accused Russia in violation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Short Range Missiles .
In January, Lavrov assured that Russia would do everything possible to preserve the DON, which is an important confidence-building and transparency measure in the military sphere.
Eliot Engel, head of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced about the possible withdrawal of the United States from the treaty in October 2019. According to him, this information became known to him from some reports. In response, he sent a letter to U.S. presidential adviser on national security Robert O’Brien, asking him to refrain from this “reckless action.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed on March 24, 1992 in Helsinki by representatives of 23 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The purpose of the treaty is to contribute to building confidence between States by improving mechanisms for monitoring military activities.