20 Jul 2021 21:12

Russia, U.S. will be able to track military movements from space even without Open Skies Treaty - Russian delegation head

MOSCOW. July 20 (Interfax) - The future of the Treaty on Open Skies without Russia and the United States is uncertain, with European countries likely to lose the most if it is terminated, head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control Konstantin Gavrilov said.

"Despite conference participants stating their intentions to proceed with their obligations under the Treaty on Open Skies, it appears that the future of the treaty without key states, the U.S. and Russia, is still foggy. This is proved by the fact that NATO countries don't do observation flights over one another," Gavrilov told Interfax on Tuesday after a conference held by the treaty's signatories on Russia's decision to withdraw from the treaty.

The possible end of the treaty's existence for Russia and the world could lead "to another loss of one of the most efficient tools for maintaining the architecture of European security. Secondly, quitting the treaty will substantially increase the unpredictability of Euro-Atlantic military activity. However, like the U.S., the Russian Federation has a group of satellites capable of monitoring any movements of armed forces both in Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic," Gavrilov said.