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US withdraws from Open Skies Treaty

US withdraws from Open Skies Treaty

The United States of America has signalled its intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty” citing violations of the accord by Russia, which allows the 34 participating countries to do unarmed aerial surveillance.

Key Points:

  • India is not a member of the Open Skies Treaty which came into force on 1 January 2002.
  • The objective of the treaty is to help in the improvement of confidence-building measures and mutual understanding and cooperation by allowing the signatories of the treaty to collect information via aerial imaging of military forces and other aspects of concern to them.
  • The treaty aims to bring in effect arms control through openness and transparency.
  • Earlier the US and Russia were participants, but the US has withdrawn from the treaty-making the number of participants of the treaty only 33.
  • Kyrgyzstan has signed the treaty but has not ratified it.
  • The 34 members of the treaty are Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Denmark (including Greenland), Turkey, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Luxembourg, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, France, the United Kingdom, Georgia, Finland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Poland, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal.

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