The United States has announced its withdrawal from the major pact Open Skies Treaty that allows aerial surveillance over the member countries through unarmed flights to ensure nations are not preparing for military actions. After fueling intense US-Iran relations on Washington abandoning the nuclear accord of 2015, senior American officials reportedly said that the decision to withdraw from the treaty that came into force in 2002 is because of repeated Russian violations of its terms. According to reports, US President Donald Trump has said that the chance of making a fresh agreement with Russia is “very good”, citing “very good relationship” with Moscow.
The US officials have reportedly also said that the formal withdrawal of Washington from the 2002 accord would take at least six months. An official told an international news agency that after a detailed review of the Open Skies Treaty, it became ‘abundantly clear’ that it lacks American interests. The treaty currently includes Canada, UK, Russia among its total 35 members. The national security advisor Robert O’Brien said in an emailed statement that the country is looking forward to formulating the new deal with Russia and China on 'new arms control framework' that would ensure world safety.
According to reports, The Russian Foreign Ministry has called US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty as ‘very regrettable’. It even said that Donald Trump’s administration has been working on ‘derailing’ all agreements that focus on arms control. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told state media that the country ‘rejects’ any attempt that would justify the abandoning of ‘fundamental agreement’.
According to him, nothing prevents the discussions over the technical issues which are being ‘misrepresented’ as violations by the US to describe its departure from another major global pact. Grushko also said that any withdrawal like the one mentioned by Washington would impact the interests of all member countries of the treaty who are also the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.