Slovakia Saddened by America's Decision to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty

22. mája 2020 20:17
Bratislava, May 22 (TASR) - It is with regret that Slovakia received the news of the United States' withdrawal from the Open Skies arms control treaty, although Bratislava voiced understanding for the reasons that guided Washington's decision, TASR learnt from Foreign and European Affairs Ministry press department on Friday. Along with its allies, Slovakia reiterated its call on Russia to implement the commitments stemming from the treaty and thus preserve its existence. "The Slovak Republic will continue to implement the Open Skies agremeent and participate in activities aimed towards its preservation," reads the text, adding that Slovakia places great emphasis on the treaty as an important tool of military transparency contributing towards the building of mutual trust, stability and security in Europe. In force since 2002, the Open Skies treaty, signed by 35 countries, allows nations to fly over each other's territory a specific number of times, provided that the aerial surveillance flights are unarmed. On Thursday (May 21), US President Donald Trump blamed Russia of violating the treaty and announced the intent of Washington to withdraw from the deal. The official withdrawal process is slated to conclude in six months, although Trump intimated that he might reconsider the decision if Moscow started to comply with the Open Skies agreement again. mf
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