EU countries will continue to implement the Treaty on Open Skies. They will try to persuade the U.S. to change its decision and continue cooperation with Russia.
On May 21, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the EU member states issued joint statements regretting the withdrawal of the USA from the Treaty on Open Skies. This was reported in a statement of the German Foreign Ministry on May 22.
The statement notes that despite the regrets, the EU countries share the U.S. concern over Russia’s compliance with the agreement. They added that they would continue to comply with the Treaty, would try to persuade the U.S. to change its decision, as well as continue dialogue with the Russian side.
A joint statement was made by the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. In their address, they noted that the Treaty “promotes security and peace in almost the entire northern hemisphere”.
US President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies on May 21 because of Russia’s violations. Trump later added that the countries have a chance to conclude a new agreement. According to a source in Brussels, the U.S. demands that NATO countries support their withdrawal from the DON and blame Russia for that.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that Russia had not violated the terms of the agreement. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the U.S. decision “a blow to international stability and security.
Trump had already suspended the Treaty in August 2018. The White House believed Russia was in breach of its terms. At the time, the U.S. demanded permission for American planes to fly over Moscow, the Kaliningrad region, Chechnya, and areas bordering Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 by 23 countries that are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Later on, the number of participants increased to 34. The document allows unarmed aircraft to fly in the territories of the signatory countries to control the arms control treaties in force.