The withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty (OON) makes the country less protected from Russia. This was announced by a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez on Sunday, November 22.
In a statement posted on website committee, Menendez said the US administration’s decision to withdraw from the treaty was reckless. He also noted that the DON was giving Washington and its allies important information about the Russian military forces.
According to the senator, the country’s withdrawal from the treaty will not prevent Russia from monitoring American assets in Europe, but the United States will not be able to see the data collected by Moscow. Menendez believes that such a decision by US President Donald Trump is a violation of domestic law.
“In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress reaffirmed its support for the Open Skies Treaty and specifically instructed the administration to justify withdrawal four months prior to formal notification of withdrawal. President Trump blatantly ignored the law and unilaterally carries out a politically charged withdrawal, even after losing the presidential election, ”the statement said.
Earlier on November 22, Assistant to the President of the United States Robert O’Brien confirmed that the United States is no longer a member of the DON. O’Brien classified the treaty as one of the outdated agreements that allegedly benefit the opponents of the United States at the expense of American national security.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on the same day that America would be more protected thanks to the withdrawal of the United States from DON.
On the same day, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, noted that the Kremlin regretted the US withdrawal from the Don and now considers this agreement unviable.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has already stated that, despite the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, it will closely monitor compliance with obligations by other parties to the agreement.
In May, US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the agreement. His decision was condemned in Europe and Russia. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested in July that the Open Skies Treaty could collapse in a “domino effect” after the US withdraws from it.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002. It allows member states to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territories.