The US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty


1 Nagorno-Karabakh

The head of the engineering service of the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lieutenant-Colonel Pavel Pautov, stated that the Russian sappers had begun to demine the area in Nagorno-Karabakh, inside their zone of responsibility. “At the first stage, they will check the area for explosives. In the future, they will build stationary posts of the Russian military contingent in that area” — Pautov explained and added that the demining is being done at the request of the administration of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The sappers from the defense army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic are also demining their own areas. They are removing the minefields for the withdrawal of the Armenian troops from their positions in the area.

2 The USA

On Sunday, the USA left the ‘Open Skies Treaty’. »Washington has officially confirmed that the USA are no longer partaking in the treaty» — said the US Presidential Assistant for the National Security, Robert O’Brien. The White House National Security Council posted his words on Twitter. O’Brien called the treaty to be «obsolete.» He added that the treaty «benefits the US opponents, at the expense of the American security». The US State Department also announced the withdrawal from the treaty. The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, stated that the document loses it’s meaning after the US exit. On 21st of May, Donald Trump announced Washington’s intention to leave the ‘Open Skies Treaty’. The agreement allows the participants to fly over any territory of each other in order to observe the military activities. Washington called the alleged violations of the agreement by Russia to be the reason of the exit. Moscow stated that it remains committed to the treaty.

3 Russia

The head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on the military security and arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, stated on-air of the ‘Russia-24’ TV channel that Russia has information that the USA are demanding from their allies to »sign documents according to which they will transfer the footage of their observation flights over Russia to the USA». According to Gavrilov — «The USA demand the Europeans to forbid Russia to make observation flights over the US military installations in Europe. This is a gross violation of the treaty. If the remaining member-states follow the lead of the USA — we will take severe retaliatory measures» — he said. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that if the USA decide to return to the treaty — the USA will have to do it on the terms of the participating countries.

4 Syria

The website of the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that over the past day, the Russian representatives in the commission on the violations of the ceasefire in Syria recorded 24 violations. «The Russian representatives in the joint Russian-Turkish commission, made to consider the issues related to the violations of the ceasefire, recorded 24 facts of opening fire. 17 in the province of Idlib, 1 in Aleppo, 4 in Latakia, and 2 in Hama. Those violations were confirmed by Syria. The Turkish representatives didn’t declare any facts of opening fire» — the message stated. It was noted that during the day, the Center carried out 1 humanitarian action in the village of Deir-Al-Bishl, in the province of Tartus.

5 Saudi Arabia

The Reuters reported that the ‘Ansar Allah’ rebel movement launched a missile attack on a facility of the ‘Saudi Aramco’ oil company, in Jeddah. This was stated by the military representative of the rebel movement — the Reuters specified. The rebels, reportedly, advised the foreign companies that operate in Saudi Arabia to be careful, since such operations will continue. Saudi Arabia hasn’t confirmed the missile strike.

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