Russia has officially left a landmark strategic agreement that allowed surveillance flights over its territory. Moscow said the USA wrecked the post-Cold War confidence boosting Treaty on Open Skies by abandoning it in 2020.
Signed in 1992, it allowed countries to conduct a certain number of short-notice unarmed reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory. The deal was devised to bolster transparency and build confidence, after decades of mistrust.
The USA left the treaty last year after then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Moscow of violating its terms. Russia denied any wrongdoing and warned in January that it will also quit the treaty in response to Washington’s departure.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Washington bears “full responsibility” for the agreement’s demise. The ministry added that Moscow has done everything it could to find possible compromise solutions to salvage the deal and have the US rejoin.
The ministry said that over the years, Russia conducted 646 reconnaissance flights in accordance with the agreement, and accepted 449 flights over its territory.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Military News 2021.