US Should Consider Restarting Open Skies Treaty As Confidence Building Measure - Senator


US Should Consider Restarting Open Skies Treaty as Confidence Building Measure - Senator

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd December, 2020) The United States should consider restarting the Open Skies Treaty with Russia, US Senator Jeff Merkley said during an annual meeting of the Arms Control Association on Tuesday.

"We should consider restarting Open Skies [Treaty] as a confidence building measure to promote trust and avert conflict," Merkley said.

Merkley noted that the Open Skies Treaty was a symbol of transparency and confidence building measures of dialogue with Russia.

"We all recognize that satellite intelligence is in a very different place now than when Open Skies was passed, but still it was at least a building block in a conversation with Russia about this," he said.

The United States' participation in the Open Skies Treaty ended earlier in November, six months after the Trump administration announced its intention to withdraw from the accord.

The Open Skies Treaty allows its participants to carry out aerial surveillance as part of a program of scheduled observation flights. More than 30 countries are participating in the program, which was created to boost transparency of military activities.

Trump confirmed the United States' withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty on May 21, citing what he called were violations by Russia and allegations of lack of compliance with the accord. Russia has denied all accusations.