Ex-NATO generals urged the US not to withdraw from the Treaty on open skies with Russia – media

A group of retired NATO generals have called for the US not to withdraw from the Treaty on open skies with Russia. It is reported by The Guardian.

“According to American sources, the U.S. Secretary of defense mark Esper and Secretary of state Mike Pompeo determined to bring his country from the Treaty on open skies, which, in the opinion of European leaders and supporters of arms control, reduces the risk of war”, – reports the edition.

According to The Guardian, published on Tuesday a joint statement, the group of 16 military commanders, retired and defence Ministers, coordinated by the European leadership network ELN, said that the agreement is “a vital pillar of stability” among nuclear powers.

“Throughout its activity, the contract increased military transparency and predictability, helping to build trust and mutual understanding”, – said in a statement retired military.

It is noted that, if the U.S. withdraws from the Treaty, they will lose the right to make flights over Russia, while Russia will still be able to fly over American military installations in Europe.

The statement, according to The Guardian, in particular, was signed by General sir David Richards, former chief of the defence staff of Britain, General Klaus Naumann, former chief of staff of the German armed forces and General Bernard norlain, the former commander military-air forces of France. According to them, due to the decisions of the United States might lose Europe.

The Treaty on open skies was signed in 1992 in Helsinki. The document established a regime of unarmed observation flights over the territories of the signatory States, States on the OSCE website. It was signed by 37 countries.

In September 2017 edition of The Wall Street Journal , citing White house sources reported that the US is preparing to impose restrictions on flights of Russian military aircraft over U.S. territory under open skies Treaty.

According to the document, the range of a reconnaissance mission may be up to 5500 km, however, Russia imposed restrictions to 500 km over the Kaliningrad. The WSJ sources said that Washington may limit the flights of Russian military aircraft over Alaska and Hawaii.

September 26, 2017, the Director of the Department for nonproliferation and arms control, the Russian foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said that Moscow is aware of Washington plans to limit the flights of Russian military aircraft over the United States. According to him, the claims by Washington against Russia are “unfounded.” He also did not rule out that Moscow will take retaliatory measures.

In August 2018, the US President, Donald trump has frozen the open skies Treaty with Russia.

October 27, 2019, referring to two American officials, the newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported that trump signed a document about the US intention to withdraw from the Treaty on open skies.

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