US leaves Open Skies Treaty, citing Russian lack of adherence, violations in Georgia’s occupied regions

Today, the United States will submit notice of its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. Photo: Susan Walsh/The Associated Press., 22 May 2020 - 14:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US has announced plans to withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies Treaty, which allows for unarmed surveillance flights over member states, saying that Russia has refused to adhere to the treaty which entered into force back in 2002.

The US provided Georgia and its occupied regions as an example of how Russia violates the conditions of the treaty.

Russia has refused access to observation flights within a 10-kilometer corridor along its border with the Russian-occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali), thereby attempting to advance false Russian claims that these occupied territories are independent states,” said the official statement by the US Department of State.