Wed, 25 Nov 2020

Moscow [Russia], November 22 (ANI/Sputnik): The US participation in the Treaty on Open Skies officially ends on Sunday, six months after Washington announced its intent to quit the agreement.

US President Donald Trump confirmed the United States' withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty on May 21, citing what he called violations made by Russia and its alleged lack of compliance. Moscow has denied all accusations.

Many European countries have voiced regrets over the US move and expressed hope that Washington would reconsider.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this month that Moscow would ask its partners within the treaty to provide legal guarantees that they would not share flight data with the United States. The United Kingdom, Germany and France have since reiterated their commitment to the treaty.

In July, the head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Centre, Sergei Ryzhkov, said that the United States was facing a 6-7 year technological gap compared to Russia in the sphere of technologies related to the Treaty on Open Skies.

The Treaty on Open Skies allows its participants to carry out aerial surveillance as part of a programme of scheduled observation flights. More than 30 countries are participating in the programme created to boost transparency of military activities. (ANI/Sputnik)

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