Washington: President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he plans to withdraw the United States from the “Open Sky Treaty” with Russia. This is the third arms control agreement that Trump has repealed since taking office.
The American leader said that Moscow failed to abide by the commitments made by its 18-year agreement, which aims to increase military transparency and trust between superpowers.
“Russia did not adhere to the treaty,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“So until they adhere, we will pull out.”
The New York Times reported that Trump plans to inform Moscow of this move on Friday, which may be the prelude to Washington’s withdrawal from the New START Treaty, which limits the number of nuclear missiles that the United States and Russia can deploy.
The open sky agreement between Russia, the United States and 32 other countries (mainly members of the NATO alliance) allows a military of one country to carry out a certain number of surveillance flights to another country every year in a short time.
The aircraft can survey the territories below and collect information and pictures of military installations and activities.
The idea is that the more the enemy armies know each other, the less chance of conflict between them.
But both sides also used flights to check their opponents’ vulnerabilities.
The United States is frustrated that Russia does not allow Russia to fly over areas where Washington believes that Moscow is deploying medium-range nuclear weapons that threaten Europe.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman (Jonathan Hoffman) said that Russia “strictly and continuously violated the agreement.”
He said that Moscow “implements the treaty in a manner that poses a military threat to the United States and its allies and partners.”
He cited Russia’s refusal to allow flights over areas where Washington believes Moscow is deploying medium-range nuclear weapons, including the Baltic city of Kaliningrad and the Russian-Georgian border.
Last year, Moscow also blocked flights aimed at investigating Russian military exercises, which are usually permitted under the agreement.
The New York Times stated that Trump was dissatisfied with Russia flying over his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey three years ago.
“In this era of great power competition, we are looking to advocate for agreements that benefit all sides, and that include partners who comply responsibly with their obligations,” Hoffman said.
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has withdrawn from two other major arms control agreements, the 2015 JCPOA Agreement to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear weapons program and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty with Russia in 1988.
In both cases, Trump accused the other party of violating the treaty requirements.