Russia to exit Open Skies Treaty on December 18 — statement

MOSCOW (TASS): Russia will completely withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies on December 18, 2021, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“Russia has notified all the member states about its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty six months after sending a notice. Therefore, this will occur on December 18, 2021,” the statement says.

Following the federal law “On the Denunciation of the Treaty on Open Skies by the Russian Federation” that has entered into force and in compliance with the established procedure, Moscow has sent notices to Hungary and Canada as the document’s depository states and to the other member states through the embassies in the corresponding capitals, the Foreign Ministry said.

“A request has been sent to the depository states of the Treaty on Open Skies to immediately inform all the member states of the corresponding notice and convene within the shortest time possible stipulated in the Treaty (i.e. in 30 days) a conference of the member states to examine the consequences of Russia’s exit,” the document reads.

The situation with the Treaty on Open Skies shows that the attempts to achieve unilateral advantages while ignoring Moscow’s interests and concerns hold no prospects, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

“The history of the Open Skies Treaty makes it possible to draw at least two conclusions. Firstly, the attempts to secure unilateral advantages while ignoring Russia’s interests and concerns are doomed to failure. Secondly, the intent that the West’s ‘technical supremacy’ will make it possible to outstrip and marginalize Russia is also failing,” the statement says.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on Western partners to realize that they will fail to ensure their security without taking the security interests of Russia and its allies into account.

“We will always find an effective response. But it is still better to work constructively together on strengthening European and global security, relying, in particular, on the experience of the years-long fruitful cooperation of the states within the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies,” the statement reads.

Russia has done everything for preserving the Treaty and it is the United States that bears full responsibility for its collapse, the document says.

As the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out, the Americans actively favor transparency in the military field “only in the cases when they expect to secure some advantages of their own through it.”

“However, when it comes to openness measures regarding their own territory, they backtrack and begin creating obstacles for the fulfillment of these accords, without thinking either about European security or their allies’ concerns or the assessment of their ability to honor agreements,” the statement says.