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Moscow Confirms Intention to Retaliate If US Withdraws From Open Skies Treaty


Feb. 12, 2020

Sputnik International
MOSCOW(Sputnik) - Russia will be forced to take countermeasures if the United States withdraws from the Open Skies Treaty, Foreign Ministry's Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Director Vladimir Ermakov has said in an interview with Sputnik, slamming Washington's claims of Russia's violations of the deal as groundless.
Reports on the US' intention to withdraw from the treaty, which enables its 34 participants to fly over other countries' territories to check on compliance with disarmament agreements, first emerged in October.
He reaffirmed Moscow's call for saving the Open Skies Treaty as "one of the few remaining pillars of the European security architecture."
"We have communicated our stand to the US colleagues. Unfortunately, the US partners keep repeating their traditional and absolutely groundless claims of Russia's alleged non-compliance with the treaty, instead of thoroughly analyzing the situation and ways to preserve the agreement. The attempts to put the blame on Russia are counterproductive and are beneath criticism. We also have many questions regarding the US' and other NATO member states' implementation of the Open Skies Treaty. However, we prefer not discussing the withdrawal, but looking for decisions capable of removing the mutual concerns together," Ermakov concluded.
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