MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. The effectiveness of the Treaty on Open Skies will sharply decrease without the participation of Russia and the United States, the zone of its application will decrease by about 80%, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with Russia's withdrawal from the Treaty.
"From December 18, 2021, Russia is no longer a party to the Treaty on Open Skies and, thus, is not a member of the group of member states provided for by its provisions," the ministry said.
"We respect the decision of the participating states remaining in the treaty to continue its implementation. We wish them constructive and fruitful joint work. However, it is already obvious that without the participation of the United States and our country, the effectiveness of the Treaty will sharply decrease: the zone of its application will decrease by about 80%, and the number of open skies missions planned for 2022 will sharply decline. Full responsibility for the degradation of the treaty regime lies with the initiator of the collapse of the UN - the United States," the statement said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that Russia’s decision to participate in the Treaty was not easy, and nevertheless, Moscow took this step to strengthen international security. "One of the bigger arguments at that time was the participation of the United States in the treaty, they supported transparency in the military field, but were in no hurry to open its territory to apply confidence-building measures," they added.
The Ministry noted that decades of fruitful implementation of the Treaty showed that it served well as a tool for strengthening confidence and security, created additional opportunities for an objective and unbiased assessment of the military potentials, and military activities of the participating countries.