Russian Duma backs pullout from Open Skies Treaty

Russian Duma backs pullout from Open Skies Treaty

The Russian parliament's lower house unanimously decided on Wednesday to denounce the Open Skies Treaty during a plenary session.

The house's international affairs committee also unanimously upheld the withdrawal from the treaty on Tuesday.

On May 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill to the State Duma on denouncing the Treaty on Open Skies.

On January 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia was launching domestic procedures to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, justifying this step by a lack of progress in removing obstacles in order for the treaty to remain effective after Washington pulled out of it in November 2020. In April, the U.S. Department of State announced that US authorities have not yet made a decision to return to the treaty. Washington has blamed Moscow for years for selectively implementing the Treaty on Open Skies and violating a number of its provisions. Russia, in turn, has expressed grievances related to Washington’s implementation of the treaty.

The Open Skies Treaty, signed in 1992, allows member states flying over each other's territories to observe military activity and regulates the conduct of such flights.

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