Atlantico (France): the end of the open skies Treaty after the release of the Americans?

In Moscow’s fears that Washington would withdraw from the Treaty on open skies. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued in April that the United States has made this decision. Yesterday, the Washington officially announced to him. At the moment, the Kremlin understands what it means, before you give your answer. Moscow believes that the Europeans (except the Brits) don’t have to follow the Americans on this way, because aware of “added value” of the agreement in terms of credibility and transparency.

The Treaty was first proposed by President Eisenhower during the cold war in 1955 (then the Soviet Union refused) and finally adopted by Bush in January 2002. Today it includes 35 countries (34 without the United States).

The Americans explain their decision for two reasons. The first is political, since the Russians allegedly did not comply with the conditions. Russia is indeed still forbids flights over the self-proclaimed Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the Kaliningrad region. Donald Trump also do not like the prospect of spying for the United States with foreign aircraft. The second reason is of an economic nature, since the modernization of old American OC-135B was absolutely necessary, but it will cost a lot of money. Russia in turn uses two types of aircraft: An-30 and Tu-154. In the future, they should replace the Tu-214ON.

In Moscow have always said that the US withdrawal from the Treaty on open skies will be a serious blow to Europe’s security.

In 2019, the Washington withdrew from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty), which, in the words of President Putin created the conditions for a new arms race. Actually, the problem is that China has not joined the INF Treaty and created forbidden to them rocket force. In the current period of confrontation between the powers of Washington and Moscow will be able to catch up and keep influence in the far East.

With the entry into force of the Treaty on open skies was held about 1,500 flying devices with cameras (including infrared) and radar. About their organization need to be reported within 72 hours, and a flight plan must be submitted 24 hours in advance. The resulting data are provided to all participating countries, which is especially useful for those who do not have their own aerial surveillance (for example, Ukraine).

In any case, all this once again confirms that Washington is pursuing a very aggressive policy towards Russia, automatically causing the mirror the Kremlin’s response. No one can say how far will this escalation…

It is worth noting that the military expenses amounted to in 2019 is 35.4 billion USD, a 10.4 billion in China and 8.5 billion in Russia, which surpassed even the United Kingdom 8.9 billion. France, in turn, gave a figure of 4.8 billion. As usual, the defense industry lobby that removes the main advantage of this tendency, which can nevertheless be suspended due to the global economic crisis in the epidemic of the coronavirus.