State Duma's final decision on Open Skies Treaty depends on dialogue with U.S.

State Duma's final decision on Open Skies Treaty depends on dialogue with U.S.

Russia will make its final decision on withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies depending on dialogue with the incoming US administration, Chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Defense Committee Vladimir Shamanov said.

"Expert analysis is underway, we should wait a while," he pointed out, adding that the Biden administration needed to take office. "The final decision will depend on how dialogue goes. The transition period is expected to last one to three months," TASS cited Shamanov as saying.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced on January 15 that Moscow was launching domestic procedures to pull out of the Treaty on Open Skies, citing the lack of progress in efforts to remove obstacles preventing the future functioning of the treaty following the United States’ withdrawal. Once the procedures are completed, notifications will be sent to the treaty depositories.

Washington for years blamed Moscow for selectively implementing the Treaty on Open Skies and violating a number of its provisions. Russia, in turn, expressed grievances related to Washington’s implementation of the treaty. In 2017, Washington imposed restrictions on Russian observation flights over US territory, triggering a tit-for-tat response from Moscow. The US left the Treaty on Open Skies on November 22, 2020.

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