Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a law formalizing Russia's withdrawal from the Open Skies Arms Treaty, an agreement that allows unmanned aerial vehicles to fly over countries that have signed the agreement.
Russia had hoped that Putin and US President Joe Biden could discuss the treaty when they meet later this month at a summit in Geneva.
The Biden administration, however, informed Moscow in May that it would not rejoin the treaty, which the Trump administration withdrew from last year.
The Kremlin said today that the US decision to withdraw from the treaty “significantly upset the balance of interests” between the treaty countries and forced Russia to withdraw from it.
“This has seriously damaged compliance with the treaty and its importance in building trust and transparency, posing a threat to Russia's national security,” the Kremlin said in a statement posted on its website.
Moscow hoped that Biden would overturn the decision of his predecessor. But the Biden government has not changed its stance and accused Russia of violating the treaty, which Moscow denies. Russia announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty in January, and the government submitted legislation to parliament last month to formalize its withdrawal.
Russian officials have lamented the US decision not to rejoin the treaty, calling it a “political mistake” and warning that the move would not create an atmosphere conducive to arms control talks later this month at the Geneva summit. .