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Russia responds to Washington’s conditions for returning to DON

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MOSCOW, May 23 – RIA News. The head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, in a conversation with RT commented on a NATO statement in which Russia was put forward conditions for the United States to return to the Open Skies Treaty.
Earlier, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg said that the return of the United States to the implementation of the Don will happen if Moscow removes restrictions on reconnaissance flights over the Kaliningrad region and near the border with Georgia. The head of NATO also accused Russia of “selective” enforcement of the provisions of the document.

According to the Russian senator, the position of the North Atlantic Alliance is not surprising.

“They once again completely irresponsibly take the American side, not realizing that by doing so they become accomplices of the operation to destroy this treaty. There is strict Euro-Atlantic discipline and the confidence of the US allies that in any difficult situations the Americans will protect the European theater of operations. therefore, choosing between truth and interests, these countries act in accordance with their interests, even if it contradicts the real situation, “Kosachev said.

He added that such NATO behavior “is only regrettable.”

Earlier Donald Trump reported that the US is withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry called this decision an unfortunate step. The diplomatic department reminded that at one time the agreement was concluded on the initiative of Washington, it is an important link in the European security system.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in turn, said that Washington could reconsider withdrawing from the agreement if Russia “returns to compliance” with the treaty. According to the Secretary of State, Russia allegedly violated the contract for years, not allowing or restricting flights under the contract, “when she wants to.” So, he noted, Moscow refused to conduct observation flights in a ten-kilometer corridor along the country’s border with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
At the Foreign Ministry, the statements of American diplomacy were assessed as an ultimatum. An official statement from the ministry said that “on this basis, the conversation will not work.” The Foreign Ministry also expressed regret over the decision of the American authorities, as it undermines European security.
The Open Skies Agreement was signed in 1992. The document became one of the confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It has been operating since 2002 and allows participating countries to openly collect information about each other’s armed forces and activities. It was signed by 34 states.

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