REPORT: Trump administration expected to announce exit from ‘Open Skies’ treaty

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Washington (CNN) — The Trump administration is expected to soon announce that it plans to exit the “Open Skies” treaty, a US official tells CNN, a move that has already drawn condemnation from Democrats in Congress.

The treaty, which was signed in 1992 and went into effect in 2002, allows 34 member states to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over one another’s territories. According to the State Department, the treaty “is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information through aerial imaging on military forces and activities of concern to them.”

The article goes on to state the following:

In 2017, an unarmed Russian Air Force aircraft flew over the US Capitol, the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and Joint Base Andrews at a low altitude as part of the treaty.
The US has accused Moscow of restricting flights near Kaliningrad where “the Russian military maintains a robust presence,” CNN reports.
Democrats called the Open Skies Treaty  “an important multilateral arms control agreement” and that canceling it “would be yet another gift from the Trump Administration to Putin” in a letter from the top members of the House Foreign Affairs, House Armed Services, Senate Armed Services and Senate Foreign Relations committees to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“We continue to implement the treaty and are in full compliance with our obligations under this Treaty, unlike Russia,” a state department spokesperson said in a statement regarding the treaty.

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