Washington’s departure from the Open Skies arms control treaty would be a blow to European security, a Russian deputy foreign minister said Thursday, after President Donald Trump announced the US will withdraw.
“The withdrawal by the US from this treaty would be not only a blow to the foundation of European security… but to the key security interests of the allies of the US,” Alexander Grushko was quoted as saying by the RIA-Novosti news agency.
Trump earlier said he will pull out from the 18-year-old defence pact with Russia and 32 other countries because “Russia did not adhere to the treaty.”
Grushko, who is the deputy minister overseeing relations with NATO and the European Union, said Trump was trying to justify the exit from a “fundamental treaty” via “technical issues” that should be resolved within the treaty.
“Nothing prevents continuing the discussions over the technical issues which the US is misrepresenting as violations by Russia,” he said.
The United States has been frustrated that Russia will not permit US flights over areas where Washington believes Moscow is deploying medium-range nuclear weapons that threaten Europe.
The treaty permits one country’s military to conduct a certain number of surveillance flights over another each year on short notice.
The aircraft can survey the territory below, collecting information and pictures of military installations and activities.
The idea is that the more rival militaries know about each other, the less the chance of conflict between them.
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Trump urges China, Russia, US arms control in Putin call: W.House
Washington (AFP) May 7, 2020
US President Donald Trump called Thursday for involving China in new arms control talks with Russia, telling his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that they need to avoid a “costly arms race,” the White House said.
“President Trump reaffirmed that the United States is committed to effective arms control that includes not only Russia, but also China, and looks forward to future discussions to avoid a costly arms race,” a statement said.