Saturday 10/16/21
'A PILLAR OF TRUST'

Russian parliament votes overwhelmingly to withdraw from Open Skies

Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki (Finland) in 1992 and came into force in 2002.
HANDOUT - 29 March 2021, United Kingdom, ---: A Russian Tu-142 Bear-F aircraft which was intercepted by Typhoons from the RAF Lossiemouth base on Monday morning after it was spotted operating near the UK. Photo: Sac Sian Stephens Raf/Ministry of Defence (MoD) via PA Media/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
A Russian Tu-142 Bear-F aircraft. Photo: Sac Sian Stephens Raf/Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday had no reservations about approving President Vladimir Putin's order to withdraw from the Open Skies military observation treaty.

There was no dissenting vote, the State Duma said.

Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin justified the decision by citing the US unilateral withdrawal from the treaty last November; Russia responded by terminating its membership and initiating an exit procedure.

The post-Cold War arms control agreement allowed the 34 participating nations to conduct a previously agreed number of unarmed observation flights over one another's territory.

Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the Open Skies treaty was signed in Helsinki (Finland) in 1992 and came into force in 2002.

It was said to be a pillar of trust between NATO members and Russia.

The United States officially withdrew in November 2020. The government in Moscow also recently voted in favour of Russia's final withdrawal.

Russia 'open for talks'

While Putin has the final say, the decision now moves to the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.

Earlier this year, Russia said it was open for talks on the issue with the Biden administration and set a deadline of early June.

The decision to withdraw the US was made by the previous White House.

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