BRUSSELS, May 22. /TASS/. The United States demands NATO nations adopt a statement in support of its decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies and hold Russia responsible for this step, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS on Friday ahead of a NATO Council meeting on the situation around that treaty.
"The United States wants to enroll its allies’ support on the issue of the withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies. The US administration insists on the adoption of a statement of the North Atlantic Council in support of the decision to withdraw from the Treaty, which will state that the reason for that is Russia’s non-compliance with the document," the source said, refraining however to assess the chances for this document to be adopted.
When asked whether the US had consulted other NATO nations on its decision to pullout from the treaty, the diplomat said, "The United States has repeatedly put the issue about this treaty for discussion at meetings of various levels in the recent years. But no consultations embracing on this topic representatives from all the alliance’s countries have been held since early May."
US President Donald Trump declared on Thursday Washington was going to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, which provides for inspection flights over member countries’ territories to monitor military activities. He motivated this step by Russia’s alleged violation of the treaty. Moscow denies these accusations and puts forward counterclaims.
According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the United States is using the same pattern as in the situation with its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). He said the breakdown of this treaty, which is critical for strategic stability in the world, was yet another step made by the Americans to dismantle the entire architecture of international stability. The same pattern, in his words, is being used in respect of the Treaty on Open Skies.