The “open skies” treaty is indefinite and open to the accession of other states. The republics of the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), which are not yet contracting parties, can join at any time. Applications from other interested countries are subject to a consensus decision by the Open Skis Advisory Board (OSCC). [2] Since it came into force in 2002, eight countries have joined the treaty: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Sweden. Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Armenia and Uzbekistan are particularly absent. The Republic of Cyprus applied to join the treaty in 2002; But since then, Turkey has blocked its accession. [Citation required] On 22 May 2020, Germany, France and nine other European countries issued a statement on the continuation of the OST. On the same day, the NATO Council meeting showed that European allies would not simply follow the United States in withdrawing and that such action had the potential to divide the alliance. This impression was reinforced when the Bundestag, with the unanimous support of all political groups, published a letter to the US Senate and the House of Representatives requesting that the US government remain in the treaty.

Observation aircraft can be provided either by the observer or by the observed part (the taxi option) at the observer`s choice. All aircraft and outdoor sensors must undergo specific pre-flight certification and inspection procedures to ensure they meet contractual standards. [2] This treaty is unrelated to the open skies agreements of civil aviation. [4] German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said germany regretted the US decision and Berlin still regarded the agreement as “an important element of the arms control architecture that contributes to mutual trust and therefore security in the northern hemisphere.” In this case, the other 32 States Parties could decide to maintain the treaty and implement it for policy reasons. However, it remains to be seen what their operational purpose is once the major partners have left the contract. Since the allies do not verify each other in principle, Western OS observation flights would be limited to Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU`s “neutral” states of Finland and Sweden could be added to the eu to take advantage of more quotas. Discussions with U.S. officials and members of Congress should express Europe`s interest in maintaining the OST with Russia.

In addition, these discussions should warn of the consequences of a U.S. withdrawal. It should be noted that the Europeans will not simply withdraw from the treaty by the United States and that the activities of American troops deployed in Europe would continue to be monitored by Russian CSR flights. It should also be remembered that, in accordance with the treaty provisions, information on observation flights over Russia cannot be transmitted to the United States. However, despite ongoing national discussions between the U.S. government and Congress, the State Department`s May 22, 2020 withdrawal communication determines the international timetable.

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