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US seeks to pull out of Treaty on Open Skies to hide violations, Russian senator says

The Americans seek to achieve unilateral military superiority, according to the senior Russian senator

MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. The United States seeks to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies in order to hide violations and achieve military superiority, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Monday.

"If someone is trying to destroy the Treaty - in this case, it is the United States - there can be only one reason: the Americans want to hide violations of obligations under other treaties from their partners and rivals. The Americans seek to achieve unilateral military superiority. Any disarmament agreement is aimed at ensuring a balance of power. The Americans don’t need a balance of power," the senior Russian senator pointed out.

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 27 and US President Donald Trump had signed a document that allegedly specified the Washington administration’s plans to pull out of the Treaty on Open Skies. The newspaper’s sources said however that it was not a final decision and consultations were still underway.

The multilateral Treaty on Open Skies was signed in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, by 23 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), 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. Russia ratified the Treaty on May 26, 2001. 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.