MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. The United States' satellite states will be able to keep Russian territory under surveillance and pass the gathered data to Washington, should Russia remain a participant in the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS), which will harm its security, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told the media on Tuesday.
"We should quit the treaty in any case. Anything else will be harmful to our security. If planes from the United States' satellite countries will be flying over our territory and conduct monitoring, what kind of security can then one talk of?" Volodin said.
He warns that "the Baltic states and some European countries will be reporting to their patrons overseas" and passing the information they have gathered.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday submitted to the State Duma a bill on the denunciation of the Treaty on Open Skies. The State Duma's Council decided to consider it at a full-scale meeting of the lower house on May 19.
In practical terms, this document enables the participating countries to carry out flights over each other's territory to monitor military activity in accordance with the agreed quotas of monitoring missions.
The treaty establishes the rules of flights and a mechanism of verifying compliance with its provisions and contains the requirements the planes involved must meet, as well as restrictions on the composition and technical parameters of monitoring instruments.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on January 15 said that intra-state procedures for quitting the TOS had been launched. It explained there had been no progress towards the elimination of obstacles to the treaty's operation in the new conditions following Washington's pullout in November 2020. The US Department of State in April said that the US authorities had made no decision to return to the TOS yet.