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Putin signs law taking Russia out of Open Skies arms control treaty

Putin signs law taking Russia out of Open Skies arms control treaty

Putin signs law taking Russia out of Open Skies arms control treaty

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation formalizing Russia’s withdrawal from the Open Skies arms control treaty, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries.

Putin signs law taking Russia out of Open Skies arms control treaty

Putin signs law taking Russia out of Open Skies arms control treaty

Russia had hoped that when Putin and US President Joe Biden meet later this month in Geneva for a summit, they would be able to discuss the treaty.

 

However, after the Trump administration exited the pact last year, the Biden administration informed Moscow in May that it would not re-enter it.

 

The Kremlin said on Monday that the United States’ decision to withdraw from the treaty had “significantly upset the balance of interests” among the treaty’s members, forcing Russia to withdraw.

 

“This resulted in serious damage to the treaty’s observance and its significance in building confidence and transparency, (posing) a threat to Russia’s national security,” the Kremlin said in a statement posted on its website.

 

Moscow had hoped that Biden’s decision would be reversed. The Biden administration, however, did not change course, accusing Russia of violating the pact, which Moscow denied. Russia announced its own plans to exit the treaty in January, and the government submitted legislation to parliament last month to formalise its exit.

 

Russian officials expressed regret for the United States’ decision not to rejoin, calling it a “political mistake,” and warned that the move would not foster an atmosphere conducive to arms control discussions at the Geneva summit later this month.

 

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