US announces decision to leave open skies surveillance treaty

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WASHINGTON: The US will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, a major accord that permits unarmed aerial surveillance flights over 34 participating countries, citing repeated Russian violations of its terms.
India is not a member of this treaty that came into force on January 1, 2002. Most of the participating countries are in North America Europe and Central Asia.
The Open Skies Treaty allows each state-party to carry out short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over the others’ territories to collect data on military forces and activities.
President Donald Trump blamed Russia’s non-compliance with the treaty for such a decision by the United States.
“Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty, so until they adhere, we will pull out. But there’s a very good chance we’ll make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“Whenever there’s an agreement that another party doesn’t agree to, we have many of those agreements around the world, where it’s a two-party agreement, but they don’t adhere to it and we do. When we have things like that, we pull out also,” he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US will submit notice of its decision to …

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