Europeans alarmed as US mulls pull-out of yet another arms control treaty

19th December 2019 / NewsBits
  • EURACTIV reports that – Washington’s threat to leave the Open Skies Treaty, a pact allowing countries to conduct surveillance flights over each other’s territory, has left Europeans concerned that yet another landmark arms control accord might suffer the same fate as the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
  • The Open Skies Treaty, signed in Helsinki in 1992 and in force since 2002, covers 34 countries and is designed to build trust between signatories, allowing them to conduct short-notice unarmed surveillance flights to gather information on each other’s military forces, thereby contributing to inspections of conventional arms control and strategic offensive weapons and reducing the risk of conflict.
  • The accord provides all signatories with permanent access to unclassified and verifiable imagery received during observation flights relevant to their national security.
  • Russia and the United States, the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, have used it to keep an eye on each other’s activities, but in recent months several senior US Democratic lawmakers and non-proliferation experts have warned that they believe US President Donald Trump may pull Washington out of the pact.



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