Donald Trump confirms to withdraw from Open Skies Treaty; accuses Russia of violating it
President Donald Trump on Thursday (local time) confirmed that the US is withdrawing from Open Skies Treaty and accused Russia of violating it.
"Russia didn't adhere to the treaty, so until they adhere, we will pull out. But there's a very good chance we'll make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together," Trump said while speaking to reporters.
The treaty signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002, establishes a mutual program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of the 34 states who are party to the agreement.
The Trump administration has already pulled out of an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in a statement said that his country will submit a notice of its decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies to the Treaty Depositaries and to all other States Parties to the Treaty.
"Effective six months from tomorrow, the United States will no longer be a party to the Treaty. We may, however, reconsider our withdrawal should Russia return to full compliance with the Treaty," said Pompeo in a statement.
"We may be willing to reconsider this decision if Russia demonstrates a return to full compliance with this confidence-building Treaty, but without such a change of course from the Kremlin, our path will lead to withdrawal in six months' time," said Pompeo.