Russia Will Not Reconsider Withdrawal From Open Skies Treaty, Deputy Foreign Minister Says

Plane - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.06.2021
MOSCOW, 10 June (Sputnik) - Russia will not reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, as this is a closed chapter, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with Sputnik.

Russia has been focused on preserving the deal on surveillance flights "for the entire period after Washington's announcement of withdrawal and until the president's signing of the law [on deal denunciation]", the diplomat recalled.

"Instead of acting responsibly and indicating a readiness at least, to not destroy the remaining elements of European security, the United States confirmed to us in the end of this period its firm and final decision not to return to the Open Skies Treaty. We do not see any sense in discussing the issue with the US," Ryabkov said.

"When we saw that literally two days before the president signed the law denouncing the Open Skies Treaty, they disposed of their second Open Skies plane, then even those who still believe in fairy tales understood everything. There is no turning back, the chapter of Russia's participation in the Open Skies Treaty is closed forever," the diplomat explained.

When asked whether the fact that Moscow has not yet sent a notification about its withdrawal to Canada and Hungary, the treaty depositories, is connected with the upcoming US-Russian summit and the hope that Washington will reconsider its position; the official said that it would be done soon.

"We by no means delay anything but strictly follow the requirements of the Russian legislation," Ryabkov added, explaining that the law becomes effective in 10 days after its signing and promulgation.

The relevant note can be sent to the depositories only after the law comes into force, the diplomat said, noting that there are no considerations related to how the US or any of their allies will behave.

"The timing of the handover of the note to depositories is a technical matter, but in any case, it will happen in the very near future after the law comes into force," Ryabkov added.

The deputy minister also recalled that according to the treaty, it was necessary to convene a conference of participating states after notifying them about withdrawal, saying there was no need to delay the issue either.

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