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Russia Denies It has Flouted ‘Open Skies’ Treaty

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The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on May 22 “deploring” the U.S. decision to exit the Treaty on Open Skies and denying “accusations” that Russia has not complied with the terms of the accord.

Russia claimed it has acted “strictly in line with” the Treaty provisions and rejected U.S. request as an “ultimatum rather than a foundation for discussion.”

The U.S. announced about its decision to abandon the agreement on May 21 due to Russia’s “flagrant and continuous violation” of the Treaty, including by refusing to allow “observation flights within a 10-kilometer corridor” along its border with occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia.

U.S. said it would not reconsider its decision unless Russia accepted to adhere to all OST terms.

On May 23, Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed support for the U.S. position, saying it has held consultations with country’s major strategic ally, as well as other signatories of the Treaty, on whether Georgia should remain a party to the agreement.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg supported the U.S. position, while France, together with ten European countries, said it regretted the decision of the U.S., though shared its concern about the implementation of the Treaty clauses by Russia.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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