US Exits Open Skies Treaty With Russia

And Trump administration is making moves that could make it difficult for Biden to re-enter it
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2020 8:54 AM CST
US Exits Open Skies Treaty With Russia
A Russian Air Force Tu-214 flies over Offutt Air Force Base, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Omaha, Neb. The flight is allowed as part of the Open Skies Treaty.   (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

After Sunday, the United States and Russia will have only one major treaty between them, reports Fox News, as the US followed through on its vow six months ago to pull out of the Open Skies treaty over what it blamed on Moscow's repeated violations of the pact. The 1992 treaty was meant to prevent war by allowing reconnaissance flights into each other's airspace. The Trump administration appears to be burning that bridge on its way out, reports the Wall Street Journal: Though then-candidate Joe Biden had decried the White House's decision in May to leave the treaty, Trump appears to be scrapping "two specially equipped OC-135B planes the U.S. has used to carry out Open Skies flights" that would make it much more difficult for Biden to attempt to re-enter the treaty. "We’ve started liquidating the equipment," a senior US official says. "Other countries can come purchase or just take the airframes. They are really old and cost-prohibitive for us to maintain." (More Open Skies Agreement stories.)

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