US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — It has been several months in Moscow that Moscow feared that Washington would withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed back in April that the United States had already taken this decision. Washington officially announced it yesterday.
At the moment, the Kremlin is figuring out what exactly it means before giving its answer. Moscow believes that Europeans (with the exception of the British) should not follow the Americans along this path, because they are aware of the “added value” of the agreement in terms of trust and transparency.
The treaty was first proposed by President Eisenhower during the Cold War in 1955 (the USSR then refused) and was finally adopted under Bush Jr. in January 2002. Today it includes 35 countries (34 without the United States).
The Americans explain their decision with two reasons. The first is political, because the Russians allegedly do not comply with the conditions. Russia indeed still prohibits flights over the self-proclaimed Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the Kaliningrad region. Donald Trump also does not like the prospect of spying on the US with the help of foreign aircraft.
The second reason is economic in nature, since the modernization of the old American OC-135B has become absolutely necessary, but will cost a lot of money. Russia, in turn, uses two types of aircraft: An-30 and Tu-154. In the future, they should be replaced by Tu-214ON.
Moscow has always said that the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty would be a serious blow to European security.
In 2019, Washington already withdrew from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), which, according to President Putin, created the conditions for a new arms race. In fact, the problem is that China did not join the INF Treaty and created the missile forces it banned. In the current period of confrontation between the powers of Washington and Moscow will be able to catch up and maintain influence in the Far East.
Since the entry into force of the Open Skies Treaty, about 1,500 flights of vehicles with cameras (including infrared) and radars have been carried out. Their organization must be reported in 72 hours, and a flight plan must be submitted in 24 hours.
The resulting data is provided to all participating countries, which is especially useful for those who do not have their own airborne surveillance equipment (this applies, for example, to Ukraine).
In any case, all this once again confirms that Washington pursues a very aggressive policy towards Russia, automatically triggering a mirror response from the Kremlin. No one can say how far this escalation will go …
It is worth noting here that in 2019, military spending amounted to $ 35.4 billion in the United States, 10.4 billion in China and 8.5 billion in Russia, which even the United Kingdom outperformed with 8.9 billion. France, in turn, announced the figure of 4.8 billion. As usual, the military-industrial complex lobby derives its main benefit from this trend, which nevertheless may stop due to the global economic crisis in connection with the coronavirus epidemic.
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