Bilateral Russian-US Open Skies treaty won’t be reached in any case — senior diplomat

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. It’s unrealistic to sign a deal between Russia and the US replacing the Treaty on Open Skies, and there won’t be a bilateral document on this issue in any case, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.

“I think this is unrealistic,” the senior diplomat said after a meeting with MPs of the inter-faction group led by Adalbi Shkhagoshev in the State Duma.

“First, the Treaty on Open Skies is rooted in the past. I recall that it took Russia six and a half years to ratify this treaty, and now, after all our efforts on preserving this deal were crushed due to the US’ reluctance to listen to the arguments of those who care about the goal of enhancing European security, I believe there will be a pause. We will be working in the field of control over conventional arms in Europe, relying on the remaining tools, this is primarily inspection activity in the framework of the 2011 Vienna Document.”

“What will be in the future, this is a separate issue, but I think there won’t be a bilateral treaty on this with the United States in any case,” Ryabkov said.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law to formalize Russia’s exit from the Treaty on Open Skies. On May 19, Russia’s lower house of parliament unanimously adopted the bill. The upper house followed suit on June 2, also backing the measure unanimously.