The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the United States has not yet formally notified it of its withdrawal from the open sky agreement, expressing its disappointment with this decision.
“We have not had any information in this regard so far,” Vladimir Yermakov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, told the agency, “Novosti” on Thursday.
He continued: “If this happens, it will definitely be an unfortunate step that comes in the context of the management approach [الأمريكية] Current efforts to undermine all agreements in the field of arms control. ”
Yermakov stressed that the “open sky” is an agreement of the utmost importance in terms of ensuring the prediction of the other side’s steps and mutual trust in Europe and on a larger scale.
This comes against the backdrop of Western press reports that quoted senior officials in the administration of President Donald Trump as saying that Washington had decided to withdraw from the agreement concluded in 1992.
The open sky agreement includes 32 countries, and allows unarmed surveillance aircraft to fly in the airspace of member states, with the aim of enhancing mutual understanding and trust by giving all parties a direct role in collecting information about the military and activities that concern them.
The open sky agreement will become the third international agreement in the field of arms control to withdraw from the Trump administration, which previously left in 2018 the nuclear agreement with Iran and then exited last year from the medium and short-range missile disposal treaty concluded with Moscow in 1987.
This comes amid fears that Washington will decide not to extend the START treaty, which provides for reducing the limits of strategic offensive warheads to the United States and Russia, and expires next year.