MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Washington is trying to manipulate international law in order to make it more difficult for Russia to exercise its rights under the Treaty on Open Skies, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the ministry’s board on Wednesday.
According to Shoigu, the current international situation is "characterized by mounting competition between the world’s power centers, growing uncertainty factors, an upsurge in instability and violence in different regions across the globe, along with the growing potential of conflict in the areas of Russia’s traditional interests."
"At the same time, the US views itself as a superpower, manipulates international law persistently seeking to alter the existing conventional arms control arrangement in Europe in its favor and also makes it more difficult for Russia to exercise its rights under the Treaty on Open Skies," the defense minister said.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, by the member-states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and went into force on January 1, 2002. The accord includes 34 countries, among them, most NATO members, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden and Finland. The purpose of the deal is to help build confidence between countries through the improvement of mechanisms to control military activities and compliance with arms control agreements.