Joint statement about the Open Skies Treaty by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and Finland
(Source: via Belgian delegation to Nato; issued May 22, 2020)
We regret the announcement by the US Government of its intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, although we share their concerns about implementation of the Treaty clauses by Russia.

The Open Skies Treaty is a crucial element of the confidence-building framework that was created over the past decades in order to improve transparency and security across the Euro-Atlantic area.

We will continue to implement the Open Skies Treaty, which has a clear added value for our conventional arms control architecture and cooperative security. We reaffirm that this treaty remains functioning and useful. The withdrawal becomes effective within six months.

Regarding issues on Treaty implementation, we will continue to engage Russia as was previously decided among NATO Allies and other European partners to address outstanding issues such as the undue restrictions to flights over Kaliningrad. We continue to call on the Russian Federation to lift these restrictions and continue our dialogue with all parties.

(ends)




Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the Open Skies Treaty
(Source: NATO; issued May 22, 2020)
NATO Allies met today to discuss the Open Skies Treaty. We are firmly committed to the preservation of effective international arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. We all agree that all states party to the Open Skies Treaty must fully implement their commitments and obligations. All NATO Allies are in full compliance with all provisions of the Treaty.

Russia has for many years imposed flight restrictions inconsistent with the Treaty, including flight limitations over Kaliningrad, and restricting flights in Russia near its border with Georgia. Russia’s ongoing selective implementation of its obligations under the Open Skies Treaty has undermined the contribution of this important Treaty to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Allies have called on Russia to return to full compliance of the Treaty since the Wales Summit in 2014, and repeated that call at the Warsaw Summit in 2016 and again at the Brussels Summit in 2018. The United States has declared Russia in violation of the Treaty, and has now announced its intention to withdraw from the Treaty in six months, consistent with Treaty provisions. The US has declared that it may, however, reconsider its withdrawal should Russia return to full compliance with the Treaty.

NATO Allies and partner nations have engaged with Russia, both in capitals and at the OSCE in Vienna, to seek Russia’s return to compliance at the earliest date possible. Russia’s return to compliance is the best way to preserve the benefits of the Treaty.

NATO Allies will continue to uphold, support, and further strengthen arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation, as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security, taking into account the prevailing security environment. Allies also remain open to dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council on risk reduction and transparency. We continue to aspire to a constructive relationship with Russia, when Russia’s actions make that possible.

-ends-





prev next

Official reports See all