Foreign Ministry statement on the US decision not to return to the Open Skies Treaty
On May 27, the US Department of State notified the Foreign Ministry of Russia that Washington will not be rejoining the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS). Just like a year ago, US officials tried to justify the destructive decision by making far-fetched and politicised accusations against Russia that have no basis in reality.
With this step, Washington has again demonstrated its disdain not only for European security but also for the interests of its own allies that asked it to reconsider the decision made by the Donald Trump administration.
Unfortunately, Washington’s words and actions are again at odds, this time with respect to military transparency, which the Americans urge others to enhance while closing their own territory to observation.
We are convinced that the United States has made yet another crude political mistake. It has lost a reasonable opportunity to make a contribution to enhancing European security, with no benefit to US security.
For a long time, Russia did all it could to preserve the TOS. We were patient and gave the US administration an opportunity to reconsider an earlier shortsighted decision. However, this did not happen.
The US refusal to return to the treaty confirms that the President of the Russian Federation was fully justified in his decision to initiate intrastate procedures withdrawing Russia from the TOS. Their implementation continues, with the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs scheduled on May 31 to review the law denouncing the TOS, which the State Duma adopted earlier. The same chamber of the Federal Assembly will discuss it at its plenary session on June 2. Then the document will be submitted to the President of Russia for signature.
The United States is fully responsible for the collapse of the TOS.