US to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty


The United States recently announced that it was withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, the 2002 international security agreement that was designed to enhance international trust and protection against attacks. Under the treaty, all 34 member states are allowed to fly over each other’s territory to collect information on military resources and activities. The agreement includes, among the others, the UK, Canada and Russia.

When announcing the decision, US officials claimed that Russia has been breaking the terms of the agreement and that the US would leave in six months.

Trump said there was a “very good chance we’ll reach a new agreement” with Russia. “I think we have a very good relationship with Russia, but Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty,” Trump said on Thursday. “Until they adhere we will pull out.”

Russia’s foreign ministry claims that its country did not violate the agreement and that a US withdrawal would be “very regrettable” and that the Trump administration was seeking to “derail all agreements on arms control.”

Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has expressed frustration with international agreements. He has already pulled the US out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Paris Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership and UN Human Rights Council. In addition, Trump has gone so far as to harshly criticize the NATO alliance, which has dramatically shaped the post-World War II order. Now its the Open Skies Treaty.