Russia's withdrawal from Treaty on Open Skies destroys European security architecture – Ukraine's MFA
The withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Treaty on Open Skies is another example of the implementation of the foreign policy course aimed at destroying the European security architecture, destroying international arms control systems and undermining fundamental norms and principles of international law, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine said.
"Russia grossly violated the Treaty on Open Skies during 2009-2020, in particular, by reducing the area of its application through the occupation of parts of the territory of Ukraine and Georgia," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said the Treaty on Open Skies is an important legally binding agreement in the field of arms control, which ensures the implementation of observation flights over each other's territory.
"In 2015-2020 alone, Ukraine carried out 50 observation flights, including 53 observation missions on its territory, in particular, on December 5 to December 7, 2018, the U.S. emergency mission as part of the United States multinational observer team of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France and Romania with the purpose to study the situation as a result of an armed attack by the naval and air forces of the Russian Federation on a ship-and-boat group of the Ukrainian Navy in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed on March 24, 1992 in Helsinki (Finland) by 27 CSCE member states (since 1995 – the OSCE). The Treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002. Its members are currently 33 states: Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine, France, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Croatia. The treaty provides for the establishment of an open skies regime – observing the observation of flights of participants over the territory with each other, monitoring the activities of the state, monitoring the situation.
Due to long-term violations of the treaty by Russia, on November 22, 2020, the United States was forced to withdraw from the Treaty. On January 15, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the beginning of the procedure for the withdrawal of Russia from the Treaty on Open Skies.