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US unlikely to benefit from pulling out of Open Skies Treaty — Russian senator

In the lawmaker's view, the US president is determined to dismantle the entire mechanism of ensuring global security

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. The United States will gain nothing by withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev wrote on Facebook on Friday.

According to him, the Trump administration’s move is harmful to the US interests so it is hard to understand its logic. "One can only suspect that the US authorities seek to destroy the current world order. The White House has sent another signal to US allies. Will they show unconditional support, like they always do?" Kosachev said.

In his view, the US president is determined to dismantle the entire mechanism of ensuring global security. "There is no other way to explain this not only destructive but in many ways clumsy step that the White House has taken," the Russian senator stressed.

Kosachev pointed out that the treaty was a solely Washington’s idea, which had been put forward by US President Dwight Eisenhower back in the 1950s. "The Soviet leadership did not agree to the initiative and it was only in 1992 that the new Russian authorities signed the treaty, and later the number of member countries grew to 34," he said.

When rumors emerged that the United States could pull out of the treaty, "the most experienced experts rushed to talk Trump out of making such a mistake because the treaty is highly beneficial to the US," Kosachev emphasized.

US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that Washington intended to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows member states to conduct surveillance flights over one another's territories in order to verify arms control agreements implementation. The US authorities cited Russia’s alleged violations of the treaty to justify their decision. Moscow has repeatedly rejected the allegations.