NUR-SULTAN, April 8. /TASS/. Moscow expects Washington to clarify its position on the Treaty on Open Skies shortly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister - Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi Thursday.
"We do not have any understanding whether the Americans are going to return to the Treaty or not," he said. "We expect final clarity to be introduced to this issue shortly. We have launched [corresponding] procedures. We do not intend to wait forever."
"We do not have any understanding whether the Americans are going to return to the Treaty or not," he said. "We expect final clarity to be introduced to this issue shortly. We have launched [corresponding] procedures. We do not intend to wait forever.
The minister underscored that Russia did not receive the US diplomatic note allegedly saying that Washington’s return to the Treaty on Open Skies will send a wrong signal to Moscow.
"I did not see this note, nobody wrote us anything, although we warned everyone officially via diplomatic notes that we initiate the procedure of withdrawal from the Treaty, because we were provided with no guarantees that the Europeans will keep the data obtained during flights over our territory in secret in the absence of the US," Lavrov said.
"If [Washington believes that] the return to the Treaty would undermine the US’s positions in arms control, it means that the US does not want arms control. I can make no other conclusion, just like any other reasonable person, I suppose," the minister pointed out.
On Wednesday, Defense News said in its report that the US authorities sent a diplomatic note to its international partners in late March, claiming that an agreement to return to the Treaty on Open Skies, which Washington believes Russia continues to violate, will "sent a wrong signal to Russia" and will undermine Washington’s positions "on a wider agenda in arms control."
In response to TASS request to comment on this report, the US Department of State said that the US authorities have not yet made any decision on the Treaty. According to the Department, the US actively review issues related to the Treaty, consult with their allies and partners. Meanwhile, the "continued Russian non-compliance with the Treaty is one of several relevant factors," the Department of State said, adding that it continues to urge Russia "to make steps to return to the implementation of the agreement."