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May 22, 2020 - The Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Open Skies Treaty deepens concerns that the U.S. may not extend the New START – the only remaining treaty capping the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Russian violations make it untenable for the U.S. to stay in the Open Skies Treaty that permits 30-plus nations to conduct observation flights over each other’s territory, but he hinted it’s possible the U.S. will reconsider the decision to withdraw.
Trump’s announcement comes as the U.S. begins new nuclear arms control talks with the Kremlin aimed at replacing an expiring weapons treaty with a modern and potentially three-way accord that brings China into the fold.
Senior administration officials say Trump’s willingness to leave the Open Skies Treaty is evidence of how prominently arms control verification and compliance will feature in the new talks.
The U.S. announcement that it plans to leave the treaty is expected to upset some members of Congress and European allies, which benefit from the imagery collected by Open Skies flights conducted by the U.S.
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