Moscow has no plans to review decision to quit Open Skies Treaty

Moscow has no plans to review decision to quit Open Skies Treaty

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow had no plans to review its decision to quit the Open Skies Treaty before it enters force on December 18.

"The NATO Council meeting concluded with a call to Russia to take advantage of the time remaining before its decision to quit takes effect, in order to review it and return to full compliance with the treaty," he told a conference of the Open Skies Treaty participants. "There will be no review, this ship has sailed, ladies and gentlemen. If you had really wanted to keep Russia a member of the Open Skies, you would have acted differently."

"Expectations that Russia would bend to pressure has not worked before, and will not work now. We will shape our policies related to the treaty in strictest compliance with Russia’s national interests and interests of our allies," the senior Russian diplomat continued.

He also said the United States had given no answer to Moscow’s reminder that Washington’s return to the Open Skies Treaty would provide an opportunity to discuss mutual concerns regarding compliance with the agreement.

"There was no constructive response to our note to Washington, which says that its return to the group of signatories would pave the way for resuming discussions about mutual concerns related to compliance with the Open Skies Treaty," TASS cited him as saying.

"Apparently, Washington thought that capabilities of its satellite group are sufficient for conducting technical surveillance of the Russian territory, and, therefore, the Treaty on Open Skies is no longer necessary and too expensive," Ryabkov continued. "It [Washington] has no interest in concerns of other participating states, including its own allies, about the loss of an important confidence-building agreement."