Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Exits Open Skies Treaty, Mirroring U.S. Departure

Russia’s exit from the Open Skies Treaty takes effect six months after Putin’s signing. Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Monday formalizing Russia’s exit from the Open Skies Treaty, an international pact that allows surveillance flights over fellow members' military facilities, after the United States’ withdrawal last year. 

Putin’s signature comes 10 days ahead of his first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva, where the two leaders are expected to seek de-escalation on a slew of issues.

The United States left the treaty in November, accusing Russia of non-compliance. Late last month, the Associated Press reported that the Biden administration informed Russia’s Foreign Ministry that it “does not intend to seek to rejoin” the Open Skies Treaty.

Russia’s exit from the Open Skies Treaty takes effect six months after Putin’s signing.

The Open Skies Treaty, which was signed in 1992 and came into force in 2002, allows its three dozen members to conduct joint unarmed short-notice observation flights over countries’ territories to monitor potential military operations.

Russia and the U.S. have long accused each other of breaching Open Skies, with Moscow blaming Washington for cold-shouldering its proposals to retain the treaty’s viability.

Lawmakers in Russia’s two-chamber parliament had approved legislation on the treaty’s renunciation in less than a month since Putin first submitted it on May 11.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more