Foreign Affairs Council

Open Skies Treaty: Statement by the High Representative on the announcement by the US on their withdrawal from the treaty

Brussels, 22/05/2020 - 19:53, UNIQUE ID: 200522_11
Statements by the HR/VP

I regret the announcement by the United States to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. The Treaty on Open Skies is a key element of our arms-control architecture and serves as a vital confidence and security-building measure.

Since it came into force in 2002, this agreement has enabled to carry out more than 1.500 reconnaissance missions over the territories of all the signatory states.

The treaty provides transparency and predictability. It is an important contribution to European and global security and stability.

All State parties must continue to acknowledge this and ensure the full implementation of the Treaty. Withdrawing from a Treaty is not the solution to address difficulties in its implementation and compliance by another party. While continuing to urge Russia to return immediately to the full implementation of the Treaty, I call upon the United States to reconsider their decision.

The European Union will be examining the implications this decision may have for its own security.

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