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Russia quits strategic surveillance agreement abandoned by the US

Russia has officially left the strategic agreement that allowed surveillance flights over its territory. Moscow said the US wrecked the treaty by abandoning it last year.

Signed in 1992, the Treaty on Open Skies allows countries to conduct a certain number of short-notice unarmed reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory. The agreement was devised to bolster transparency and build confidence in the post-Cold War world.

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The US left the treaty last year after then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Moscow of “grossly and continuously” violating its terms.


“Moscow appears to use Open Skies imagery in support of an aggressive new Russian doctrine of targeting critical infrastructure in the United States and Europe with precision-guided conventional munitions,” Pompeo said at the time.

Russia denied any wrongdoing and warned in January that it will also quit the treaty in response to Washington’s departure. Moscow officially left the treaty on Saturday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Washington bears “full responsibility” for the agreement’s demise. The treaty “has fallen victim to the internal fight between different influential groups in the US, which was won by the hawks,” the statement read.

The ministry added that Moscow “has done everything it could to find possible compromise solutions” to salvage the deal and have the US rejoin. 


All these circumstances left us no choice. They predetermined Russia’s exit from the treaty. We cannot and will not undermine our national security.

The ministry said that over the years, Russia conducted 646 reconnaissance flights in accordance with the agreement, and accepted 449 flights over its territory. 18, 2021 at 06:15PM
from RT – Daily news


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