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Russia to withdraw from Treaty on Open Skies in December

Russia to withdraw from Treaty on Open Skies in December

Moscow, Jun 18 (Prensa Latina) Russia on Friday announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS) on December 18, six months after notifying the member countries of the agreement.
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Moscow requested to convene a conference of the 33 member States of the Treaty as soon as possible to assess the consequences of its withdrawal from it, according to a press release from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which blamed the United States for the deterioration of the agreement.

On Jan. 15, Russia reported the start of internal procedures to withdraw from this Treaty of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which entered into force in 2002.

It explained that it took this step due to the lack of progress in removing obstacles to continue with the implementation of the agreement, after the United States withdrew from it in November 2020.

Still made up of 31 European countries plus Turkey and Canada, the Treaty establishes a program of unarmed air reconnaissance flights over the territories of all member countries in order to improve confidence among its members.

During the assigned flights, information on troops and military operations in the overflown country is gathered, thus allowing for verification of military movements and arms control measures.

The Treaty is considered one of the major international efforts towards military transparency and the cooling of the arms race.

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