MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov as his official envoy to the Federal Assembly, or Russia’s national bicameral parliament, on issues of the denunciation of the Open Skies Treaty, as follows from a presidential order posted on the official internet portal of legal information on Sunday.
"Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Alexeyevich Ryabkov is to be appointed Russian president’s official representative during the consideration of the issue of denunciation of the Open Skies Treaty, signed in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, by the Federal Assembly’s houses," the document reads.
On May 5, the Russian government passed a resolution approving termination of the treaty and referred this proposal to the president.
The Russian foreign ministry released a statement in mid-January informing that Russia was beginning domestic procedures to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty "over the lack of progress in what concerns the removal of obstacles for its continuation in the new conditions."
For years, Washington had been accusing Moscow of exercising a selective approach to the implementation of the Open Skies Treaty and violating a number of its provisions. Russia had been laying counter claims. In 2017, Washington imposed a number of restrictions on Russia’s observation flights over the US territory. Moscow gave a tit-for-tat response. In November 2020, the United States withdrew from the treaty.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 in Helsinki by 27 member nations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), known as Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) before 1995. The main purposes of the open skies regime are to develop transparency, render assistance in monitoring compliance with the existing or future arms control agreements, broaden possibilities for preventing crises and managing crisis situations. The treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty came into effect from January 1, 2002 after being ratified by 20 countries. Russia ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.