US- Russia Open Skies Treaty

US administration led by Biden, does not seek to re-join Open Skies Treaty with Russia.

Highlights

  • The treaty is a key arms control agreement, that allowed US and Russia to fly surveillance aircraft over their military facilities
  • According to US administration, US does not seek to renter the pact because of Russia’s failure to comply with it.
  • Now, “New START treaty” is the only major arms control pact between both the countries which was extended for five years recently by US.

What is Open Skies Treaty?

The Open Skies Treaty was signed by United States on March 24, 1992. It came into effect in 2002. The Treaty allows both member countries to fly surveillance aircraft over military facilities. The treaty was signed to promote transparency among member countries.

Members of Open Skies Treaty

34 member states had participated in treaty.

When did Russia and US withdrew from treaty?

Former President of US, Donald Trump, announced its withdrawal in November 2020 while, Russia announced to withdraw in January 2021.

Background

Proposal for aerial surveillance was first proposed by Former US President Dwight Eisenhower in July 1995. However, Russia then rejected proposal on ground of spying. In 1989, the proposal was again introduced by former President US, George Bush, following a conference between NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and Warsaw Pact countries. Finally, in 1992, treaty was signed and came into force in 2002.

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