Fri, 26 Feb 2021

Russia leaving Open Skies defense pact

15 Jan 2021, 23:07 GMT+10

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia will exit the Open Skies treaty in a matter of days, the Foreign Ministry announced on Friday, January 15, Deutsche Welle reports.

The country must give six months notice to the other member states. Russian leaders may change their mind before the six months is up.

Moscow had been concerned about Washington receiving intelligence gathered by allies still adhering to the treaty.

The Kremlin had reportedly sought guarantees from other member states that they would not share such intelligence, but they were not forthcoming.

The planned withdrawal was 'due to the lack of progress in removing obstacles to the continuation of contractual operations under the new conditions,' the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The withdrawal will take place after Joe Biden has been inaugurated into office.

Biden has expressed eagerness to renew the nuclear arms control treaty, New START, between the two powers - it is set to expire in February.

The US left the treaty on arms control and verification in November after accusing Russia of treaty violations in May - Moscow denied the accusation.

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