NUR-SULTAN (Sputnik) – Russia has not received any official notifications from the United States regarding its position on the Open Skies Treaty, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.
“As for the Open Skies Treaty, I have not seen this note, no one has written anything to us, although we have officially warned everyone through diplomatic notes that we are launching the procedure for withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, as we are not given guarantees that Europeans will not disclose data that they obtain in flights over Russian territory”, Lavrov said at a press conference, held after talks with his Kazakh counterpart.
Moscow expects Washington to explain its stance on the Open Skies Treaty soon, the diplomat went on to say.
On Wednesday, a US State Department spokesperson told Sputnik that Washington was yet to make a decision on its future participation in the treaty.
At the same time, a leaked memo from the US administration, obtained by Defence News, suggested that Washington fears to “send the wrong message to Russia” by re-joining the accord. The US also continues to accuse Moscow of violating the treaty – which Russia denies, stressing that the agreement may be revived if Washington reverses the withdrawal.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and became effective 10 years later. The document allowed 34 participating nations to conduct unarmed observation flights over each other’s territories.