VIENNA, April 7. /TASS/. Russia is ready for any scenario over the prospects of the Open Skies Treaty, Head of the Russian delegation at Vienna talks on military security and arms control Konstantin Gavrilov told TASS on Wednesday.
The Russian envoy thus responded to a request to comment on a claim by the Defense News media outlet that the United States would hardly rejoin the Treaty. As the Russian diplomat said, a session of the Open Skies Consultative Commission will be held in Vienna on April 26 to discuss the Treaty’s implementation.
"Any scenario won’t come as a surprise for us. We are ready for everything," Gavrilov said.
Russia has officially stated on many occasions that internal state procedures for its exit from the Open Skies Treaty continue and the documents are passing through the corresponding agencies.
"While we are a party to the Treaty, we are fulfilling our commitments. But there are no flights so far over the complex situation with COVID-19," the Russian diplomat stressed.
As the Defense News weekly claimed on Wednesday, Washington believes that its rejoining of the Open Skies Treaty would send the "wrong message" to Russia. The media outlet noted that the US administration outlined this position in a diplomatic memo sent to international partners.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated in early February that the Biden administration was considering rejoining the Treaty. The US pulled out from the Open Skies Treaty on November 22, 2020. In the wake of this move, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced on January 15 that Moscow had launched internal state procedures for exiting the Treaty. However, the Russian authorities explained that they were ready to revise their position on the Open Skies Treaty, if the US administration acted likewise.