Trump administration prepares to leave Open Skies Treaty

Trump administration prepares to leave Open Skies Treaty

The Trump administration has made a final decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, sources confirmed to Defense News on Thursday.

The news was confirmed by U.S. President Donald Trump midday, followed by a formal announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the administration will make a formal notification on Friday, kicking off a six-month clock before a formal exit occurs.

“We may, however, reconsider our withdrawal should Russia return to full compliance with the Treaty,” Pompeo said in a statement.

What “full compliance” means, however, is unclear. Chris Ford, assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, told reporters there are “many variables” as to what that would entail, particularly as a number of American complaints about Russian activities involve behaviors that, Ford acknowledged, are “not in fact violations of the treaty.”

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