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Belarus hopes United States will reconsider its decision to exit Open Skies Treaty

Monday, 23 November 2020

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) - Belarus is counting on the political wisdom of the United States and hopes the country will reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, reads a statement of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with the withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, BelTA learned from the press service of the Foreign Ministry.

"On 22 November the U.S. decision to pull out from the Open Skies Treaty came into force. The Republic of Belarus deeply regrets this step by the American side," the statement reads. "Developed at the initiative of the United States in the first years after the end of the Cold War, the Open Skies Treaty remains one of the most significant and effective legally binding military and political mechanisms in the space from Vancouver to Vladivostok, which provides an unprecedented level of transparency and predictability between the states participating in the military sphere."

The ministry noted that the fourth conference on the review of the treaty, which took place on 7-9 October this year, confirmed the relevancy of the Open Skies Treaty as a unique measure of trust and an integral part of the Euro-Atlantic security system.

"The United States was a key participant in the treaty and made a significant contribution to its successful implementation. Washington's withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty undermines the viability of the treaty and will lead to a further increase in mistrust and military and political tensions” the document said. "The Euro-Atlantic security architecture and arms control mechanisms are seriously damaged."

"We hope that the United States leadership will show political wisdom and will reconsider its decision in the near future. We are convinced that the return of the United States to the ‘open skies' community will not only strengthen the security of all Open skies Treaty member states but will also have a positive impact on the restoration of the atmosphere of trust in the Euro-Atlantic space," the statement said.