Less than two weeks before his meeting with President Joe Biden in Geneva, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed into law a bill renouncing the Open Skies Treaty with the U.S., Fox News reports citing the government’s official legal information portal who published the document.
Sergei Ryzhkov, the head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, said that the United States and Germany will carry joint observation flight over the Russian territory within the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies.
Open Skies Treaty – one of a number of post-Cold War confidence-building measures- was signed in 1992 and went into effect 10 years later, allowing the 34 signatories to conduct unarmed observation flights over each other’s territory on short notice.
Last month the U.S. notified Russia it would not return to the Open Skies Treaty that was abandoned during the Trump administration although President Joe Biden called Trump’s move “short-sighted” during the presidential race.
Trump pulled out of the treaty quoting violations by Moscow, something that Russia denied, stressing that all of the agreement-related issues Washington raised could be discussed within the framework of the Open Skies Consultative Commission.
The U.S. started the withdrawal procedure on May 2020 and the procedure was completed on 22 November while the Russian Foreign Ministry announced relevant reciprocal procedures on 15 January.