Russia began withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, the Foreign Ministry said on its website.
It explained that the U.S. decision to leave the agreement “under a trumped-up pretext” upset the balance of interests of the participants and undermined the role of the Treaty on Open Skies “as a confidence- and security-building instrument.
“The Russian side has put forward specific proposals, consistent with the fundamental provisions of the Treaty, to maintain its viability in the new circumstances. We regret to note that they were not supported by U.S. allies,” Smolensk Square added.
It is stressed that Moscow decided to withdraw from the treaty because of the “lack of progress” in removing obstacles to its operation in the new conditions.
Thirty-four states were parties to the treaty until recently. At the end of May, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of his country. The reason for this, according to Washington, was the repeated violations by Russia.
In particular, the U.S. accused Moscow of using Open Skies as an instrument of “military coercion. Russia has repeatedly denied the U.S. accusations.
On the night of Nov. 22 last year, the U.S. completed the withdrawal procedure.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Washington’s decision made the treaty unviable.