Kyiv says reasons for U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty are Russia's actions to break pan-European regimes for arms control
The real reasons for the United States to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty have been Russia's deliberate long-term actions aimed at scrapping pan-European regimes in the field of arms control and military restraint, as well as hiding military preparations and large-scale deployment of new weapons systems near the Ukraine-Russia border, as well as in the annexed and temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
"The Ukrainian side believes that the real reasons for the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty were deliberate long-term actions provoked by Russia aimed at destroying pan-European regimes in the field of arms control and military restraint, as well as hiding military preparations, large-scale deployment of new weapons systems near the Ukrainian side of the Russian state border, in Russia-occupied Crimea and Donbas," the ministry said during an extraordinary conference of states parties to the Open Skies Treaty on Friday.
At the same time, the ministry emphasized that Ukraine, together with partner states from among the NATO and EU members, will continue to participate in the Open Skies Treaty and its implementation.
"As before, Ukraine insists on the conscientious fulfillment of the obligations stipulated by this Treaty by all participating states without exception," the ministry said.
It is indicated that maintaining the Open Skies Treaty and continuing to participate in it is in the interests of Ukraine’s military security, as well as the priorities of Euro-Atlantic integration.
"Aerial monitoring of military activities, as well as the exchange of information with partner states, constitute an important source of information necessary for assessing the military and military-political situation in the context of countering the armed aggression of Russia," the ministry explained.
The holding of joint observation missions with the participation of Ukrainian and foreign inspectors, as well as the use of the Ukrainian AN-32 aircraft in the interests of NATO observation missions, is one of the important areas of practical cooperation and an element of achieving interoperability between the armed forces of the member states and Ukraine, explained in the comment.
Ukraine called on all participating states to ensure compliance with and further implementation of the Treaty, as well as to actively counter Moscow's attempts to manipulate its provisions in order to legalize the consequences of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, temporary occupation and illegal annexation of part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine.