After Washington's decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty (OST), it may be terminated, RISS expert Sergey Yermakov says. “The Treaty on Open Skies currently has 34 party states, but without America it will lose its effectiveness,” he explained.
Open Skies Treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. It is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. This contributes to strengthening of international security and stability, RISS expert says.
“The Trump administration is destroying the arms control regime. The US has already withdrawn the INF Treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iranian nuclear deal). At the same time, Washington accuses Moscow of violating the Open Sky Treaty with the aim of leaving the treaty,” Yermakov pointed out.
The USA intended to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty in 2018; Washington refused to conduct observation flights. Now the White House insists on signing new documents promoting only American interests. “This means that the new arms control regime will affect Russia and China’s security. We shouldn’t forget that Russia and China are considered geopolitical rivals by the US,” Yermakov underscored. In addition, the US authorities discussed whether to conduct their first nuclear test explosion since 1992, Washington Post reported recently referring to sources. This means that another treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), is also under threat, RISS expert says.
“The US is putting international peace and security under threat. Trump plans to increase military budget spending. Despite calls from the international community to unite in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Washington is pursuing military superiority. Such US actions threaten the arms control regime and Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, which expires in less than a year,” Yermakov concluded.