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Open Skies Treaty meets everybody’s security interests, including US’, says ambassador

The Open Skies Treaty meets the security interests of all countries, including the United States, Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told a news briefing on Friday.

“It is my firm conviction that the treaty benefits all. It meets the security interests, first and foremost, the security interests of the European countries, Russia, the United States and Canada,” he said. “Yesterday’s official decision to launch the procedure of quitting that treaty will deal a strong and painful blow on the remaining elements of the system of strategic security, the architecture of international security treaties and the architecture of arms control treaties.”

Antonov remarked that the US decision to pull out from the treaty was not a big surprise.

“That the US has eventually taken such an unconstructive decision in relation to this treaty indicates that the American administration systematically pursues a policy of abandoning multilateral agreements that establish a code of conduct for a normal, civilized country in the modern world,” he added.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday declared Washington’s intention to pull out from the Open Skies Treaty, which enables its signatories to perform inspection flights over each other’s territories to monitor military activity. In a written statement US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo explained that the US decision to withdraw from the agreement would take effect six months after May 22. The United States claimed that alleged violations of the treaty by Russia were the official reason. Moscow dismissed these charges.

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