The United States on Friday will notify the Russian Federation of withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, the New York Times reported, citing senior officials of the US administration.
The US and Russia in the past accused each other of violating the treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Washington, accusing Moscow of violating its obligations under the treaty, deliberately keeps silent about its own problems with the implementation of the document.
The newspaper also refers to secret reports by the Pentagon and US intelligence, which suggest that the treaty could be used by Russia to monitor critical US infrastructure and even cyber-attacks. There is no evidence of this.
The newspaper suggests that the US withdrawal from the treaty will cause discontent among European allies, including NATO allies who are participating in the treaty.
According to the newspaper, the administrationвЂ™s withdrawal from the next agreement may mean that U.S. President Donald Trump does not intend to extend the fundamental treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on measures to further reduce and limit strategic offensive arms, expiring in 2021.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and has become one of the confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It has been operating since 2002 and allows participating countries to openly collect information about each other's armed forces and activities. The parties to the agreement are 34 states.