MOSCOW — Russia does not see any chance of a new agreement in the event of the U.S. withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows signatories to conduct unarmed observation flights over one another’s territory.
“There are no prospects for a new agreement to replace the treaty,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told state television on Saturday. “We don’t need such prospects either.”
The current treaty functioned perfectly and guaranteed European security, Ryabkov said. Even if Russia were to meet all American demands, he said he did not expect the U.S. to stick to the treaty.
The U.S .government declared on Thursday that the U.S. would withdraw from the treaty between NATO states and former members of the Warsaw Pact on mutual military air surveillance, designed as a confidence-building measure.
Washington cited noncompliance by Russia. The announcement has caused international concern, with other NATO members stressing that they regretted the U.S. decision. Russia denies the accusations of noncompliance.
The arms control agreement allows 34 nations, including the United States and Russia, to conduct such unarmed observation flights. It was concluded in 1992 and came into force in 2002.
Since then, there have been more than 1,500 observation flights. Their main purpose is to build mutual confidence.
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