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U.S. signals intention to pull out of Open Skies surveillance treaty

What do you think about intention of Washington to abandon the Open Skies Treaty?

  • Absolutely right decision

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • Right but not sufficiently coordinated with NATO allies

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Maybe right but with some negative effects in the future

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It is a doubtful decision

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • Wrong decision

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • Absolutely stupid self damaging step

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • Don't know/Don't care

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15
The US has announced it will withdraw from a major accord that permits unarmed aerial surveillance flights over dozens of participating countries.
The Open Skies Treaty came into force in 2002 and is designed to boost confidence and assure against attacks.
But senior US officials said the country was withdrawing due to repeated Russian violations of its terms.
I have heard that Russia proposed bases in Crimea to refuel US planes that was unacceptable for Washington. But hardly it can be viewed as a violation of the treaty. US planes could be refueled in Turkey or Romania.
Russia regards parts of Georgia - Abkhazia and S.Ossetia as independent countries and thus not a territory of Russia (btw US and its allies agree that it is not a territory of Russia). But Washington demand that the open skies treaty should be applied to these territories.
There are restriction of flights over big city of Kaliningrad for safety reason. Flights over big cities (as Moscow or New York) are not safe and have to be avoided.
Also there are complains that Moscow denied access to military exercise overflights. Hardly it can be regarded as a violation of the treaty. The treaty doesn't demand access to the skies at any arbitrary moment. After the end of exercises Washington had full access the respective territory to observe it.
Russia's Foreign Ministry insisted that it had not violated the treaty and that a US withdrawal would be "very regrettable", adding that the Trump administration was working to "derail all agreements on arms control".
Earlier this month, 16 former senior European military and defence officials signed a statement supporting Open Skies, saying that a U.S. withdrawal from the treaty would be a blow to global security and further undermine the international arms control agreements.
The officials asked the U.S. to reconsider its exit and called for European states to stay in the treaty if the Americans left.
What do you think about intention of Washington to abandon the Open Skies Treaty?
 

Slime

LE
In reply, I think your post doesn’t make a lot of sense, with the reason being the content of your post :)

Why do you think flights over large cities are unsafe?
What is your reasoning for this, and please note that literally millions of flights have taken place over large cities.

If the flights are to assure potential adversaries you will also be aware that Russia denying flights during an exercise would be seen as having something to hide.

Why do you think Russia now has and traditionally had an issue with open sky flights?

Do you think the issues Russia had with the original proposal for open skies, or the Russian decision to close Berlin to the West, and its subsequent harassment of Western unarmed transport aircraft is shaping its recent denial of airspace?

After the recent independent investigation found Russians guilty for shooting down the MH17 airliner don’t you think it shows Russia in a bad or suspicious light to have closed off an area of airspace again?

Finally, why is your lever of English grammar and syntax different to the way it was a few months ago?
 
Russia's denial of overflight of areas within the Kaliningrad OBLAST (an area considered by many in NATO as the potential flashpoint for a military miscalculation), and where, in recent years, Russia has made significant effort to upgrade the military capabilities, is a very reasonable cause to accuse Russia of violating the treaty.
 
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I believe that the theme is sufficiently important to be seriously discussed in CA section, especially taking into account the last decision made by Washington to abandon the treaty within 6 months. Also I add the poll.

Yes. Well, you can do your own data analysis of the other thread, rather than us assisting your collection activities by participating in your vox pop poll.

Have a nice day, Sergei!
 
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Russia's denial of overflight of areas within the Kaliningrad OBLAST (an area considered by many in NATO as the potential flashpoint for a military miscalculation), and where, in recent years, Russia has made significant effort to upgrade the military capabilities, is a very reasonable cause to accuse Russia of violating the treaty.
Denial is a wrong word in this context
Chris Ford, assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation ... pointed to restrictions on flights over Kaliningrad. Russia has in the past restricted the length of flights over the city, which is not a direct violation but contradicts the confidence-building nature of the agreement, Ford said.
As you may see US planes are able to fly over the whole Kaliningrad enclave but there are limitation (not denial) on flights over the city of Kaliningrad.
 
Yes. Well, you can do your own data analysis of the other thread, rather than us assisting your collection activities by participating in your vox pop poll.

Have a nice day!
Have a nice day!
 
Denial is a wrong word in this context

As you may see US planes are able to fly over the whole Kaliningrad enclave but there are limitation (not denial) on flights over the city of Kaliningrad.

Fair call, but any limitation is an open door to accusations of non-compliance with the Treaty.

'The mission plan may provide for an observation flight that allows for the observation
of any point on the entire territory of the observed Party,
including areas designated by the
observed Party as hazardous airspace in the source specified in Annex I. The flight path of an
observation aircraft shall not be closer than, but shall be allowed up to, ten kilometres from
the border with an adjacent State that is not a State Party.


 
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Fair call, but any limitation is an open door to accusations of non-compliance with the Treaty.
Here I agree with you but it can be discussed because unrestricted flights over any big city are not safe. For example in emergency situation planes could drop fuel.
Let's recall this case
Kyrgyzstan intends to charge the U.S. military for dumping fuel over its territory.
In September, U.S. refueling planes twice dumped tons of aviation fuel over the Chui region. The incidents prompted criticism from villagers and environmental groups.
It is a serious matter. Agree that dumping of fuel of Kaliningrad would be an ecological catastrophe.
 
Here I agree with you but it can be discussed because unrestricted flights over any big city are not safe. For example in emergency situation planes could drop fuel.

It is a serious matter. Agree that dumping of fuel of Kaliningrad would be an ecological catastrophe.

The same as any other city, with any commercial flight. Shall we restrict. limit, deny. overflight of any population centre, water catchment, agricultural area or scientifically-significant biosphere to all aircraft? Of course not, otherwise it would be a matter of global importance which Russia, as a Security Council Permanent Member, could raise at the UN. Using that as an excuse just makes you look foolish, Sergei.
 
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Fair call, but any limitation is an open door to accusations of non-compliance with the Treaty.

'The mission plan may provide for an observation flight that allows for the observation
of any point on the entire territory of the observed Party,
including areas designated by the
observed Party as hazardous airspace in the source specified in Annex I. The flight path of an
observation aircraft shall not be closer than, but shall be allowed up to, ten kilometres from
the border with an adjacent State that is not a State Party.


And what is your point? Apparently Russia allows overflights over any point of its territory but it doesn't mean that Russia must allow flight paths where observing planes repeatedly overfly the same point many times. And it doesn't mean that after inspection of any region, the same region could be inspected again and again many times.
They are details (I repeat the devil is in the details) that should be discussed separately.
 
And what is your point? Apparently Russia allows overflights over any point of its territory but it doesn't mean that Russia must allow flight paths where observing planes repeatedly overfly the same point many times. And it doesn't mean that after inspection of any region, the same region could be inspected again and again many times.
They are details (I repeat the devil is in the details) that should be discussed separately.

It all depends on what changes the observing party is trying to detect, and what the observed party is trying to hide. The devil is most certainly in the detail.
 
The same as any other city, with any commercial flight. Shall we restrict. limit, deny. overflight of any population centre, water catchment, agricultural area or scientifically-significant biosphere to all aircraft? Of course not, otherwise it would be a matter of global importance which Russia, as a Security Council Permanent Member, could raise at the UN. Using that as an excuse just makes you look foolish, Sergei.
Deny? No. I repeat it - no one region or point in Russia is absolutely closed. However, there are some restrictions. But there is nothing in the treaty about restrictions for flights over some places - big cities, nuclear plants and so on.
 
Why have an agreement when one side cheats?

Same can be said of the ‘deal’ that was struck with Iran.
Any treaty is first of all a TEXT of the treaty 'as is'. Those who follow any letter written in the text don't violate it.
If our American partners believe that Russia violates the treaty then they should quote the text and show what exactly is violated.
 
Any treaty is first of all a TEXT of the treaty 'as is'. Those who follow any letter written in the text don't violate it.
If our American partners believe that Russia violates the treaty then they should quote the text and show what exactly is violated.

U.S. officials have long complained that Moscow was violating the Open Skies accord by not permitting flights over a city where it was believed Russia was deploying nuclear weapons that could reach Europe, as well as forbidding flights over major Russian military exercises. Satellites, the main source for gathering intelligence, are not affected by the treaty.

Russia restricted US overflights of Kaliningrad the Russian exclave in Europe’s northeast — to 310 miles in the territory and within a six-mile corridor of its border with Georgian conflict zones Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They also report that they have been denied access to military exercise overflights. Meanwhile, the US rarely if ever has impeded Russia from at least attempting to see what it wants.

In classified reports, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies have contended the Russians are also using flights over the United States to map out critical infrastructure that could be hit by cyberattacks.
 

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