Politics: Trump administration expected to announce exit from 'Open Skies' treaty - PressFrom - US

Politics Trump administration expected to announce exit from 'Open Skies' treaty

08:40  09 october  2019
08:40  09 october  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 in Helsinki by 24 member nations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The main purposes of the open skies regime are to develop transparency, render assistance in monitoring compliance with the existing or

The Open Skies Treaty was signed by the US, Russia, and 22 other countries in an effort to promote transparency among nations. Thirty-four countries are now members of the treaty , which was initially signed in 1992. Countries that are part of the treaty must notify other nations 72 hours in advance of

The Trump administration is expected to soon announce that it plans to exit the "Open Skies" treaty, a US official tells CNN, a move that has already drawn condemnation from Democrats in Congress.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, for his annual visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, on October 4, 2019. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-reynolds / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/AFP via Getty Images US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, for his annual visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, on October 4, 2019. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-reynolds / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The decision to leave the treaty -- which was signed in 1992 and went into effect in 2002 and allows 34 member states to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over one another's territories -- could affect the American military's ability to conduct aerial surveillance of Russia and other member countries. The treaty is used to help verify arms control agreements, according to the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, part of the Defense Department.

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The Trump administration ’s reported plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty , which permits signatory nations to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over each other's territory, is being widely criticised as another pro-Russia Expected to give evidence to Congress voluntarily and in secret.

The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 party states. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.

According to the State Department, the treaty "is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information through aerial imaging on military forces and activities of concern to them."

This would be the latest major international treaty the administration has abandoned. In August the US formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, ending a landmark arms control pact that has limited the development of ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

Analysts fear the developments are likely to prompt a new and dangerous arms race with Moscow and CNN has reported the US military is set to test a new non-nuclear mobile-launched cruise missile developed specifically to challenge Russia in Europe.

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“The Open Skies Treaty enhances confidence and security by providing a mechanism for mutual understanding,” Gleason said in a statement, noting that The possible move to abandon Open Skies follows the Trump administration ’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Trump administration is poised to announce Friday that it is withdrawing from a treaty that has been a centerpiece of superpower arms control since Leaving the INF treaty would allow the Trump administration to counter the Chinese, but it’s unclear how it would do that. Secretary of State Mike

In a statement, a State Department spokesperson said they were aware of Democratic lawmakers' letters regarding the treaty.

"We do not comment on Congressional correspondence. We continue to implement the treaty and are in full compliance with our obligations under this Treaty, unlike Russia," the spokesperson said.

The White House and Pentagon have not responded to CNN's requests for comment on the matter.

Democrats have been quick to criticize the impending announcement.

"Pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, an important multilateral arms control agreement, would be yet another gift from the Trump Administration to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," the top Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs, House Armed Services, Senate Armed Services and Senate Foreign Relations committees wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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“The open skies Treaty allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe to monitor Russian military deployments,” Engel wrote. – Observation flights within the framework of the Treaty provided additional information about Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and became a deterrent to

The treaty provides for regular surveillance flights over the territory of signatory countries, including Trump 's critics can't seem to decide whether to love or to hate the treaty that went into effect in As expected , wise policy from both nations. By looking North the Chinese gain secure overland and sea

"Not only is there no case for withdrawal on the grounds of national security, there has been no consultation with the Congress or with our allies about this consequential decision. Any action by this administration to withdraw from critical international treaties without the approval of the Senate is deeply concerning," wrote Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state.

The Russian Embassy in Washington wrote a tweet Tuesday expressing support for the treaty, saying: "We consider the #OpenSkiesTreaty to be an important instrument in ensuring European security on the same level as the 2011 Vienna document on confidence- and security-building measures."

In 2017, an unarmed Russian Air Force aircraft flew over the US Capitol, the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and Joint Base Andrews at a low altitude as part of the treaty.

The US has in the past accused Moscow of imposing restrictions on flights near its exclave of Kaliningrad, an area between Poland and Lithuania where the Russian military maintains a robust presence.

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