MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. It will not be easy for the United States to rejoin the Treaty on Open Skies, if there is such a desire, because it will have to agree with all decisions made in its absence, Oleg Bushuev, Head of the Conventional Arms Control Division of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, said on Tuesday.
"If the United States rejoins the treaty, first of all, it will not be easy to do that," he said at an online discussion following the Conference of the signatories to the Treaty on Open Skies. He thus commented on remarks by other participants in the discussion who suggested that Washington could reconsider its stance on the issue, if the upcoming presidential election was won by Democrats. "If they [the Americans - TASS] want to return, they will have to agree and sign a document, in which they will have to agree with all decisions by the Consultative Commission made in their absence."
On May 21, US President Donald Trump declared Washington’s intention to quit the Treaty on Open Skies, which enables the signatories to perform flights over each other’s territory to monitor military activity. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo explained in a written statement that this decision would take effect in six months’ time after May 22. The US claimed that Russia’s alleged violations of the agreement were the reason. Moscow rejected these accusations, saying that it is committed to the treaty and put forward counterclaims.