Open Skies, Europe against Trump at NATO: “We will continue to respect the treaty”

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BRUSSELS – NATO splits on Donald Trump’s choice to abandon the Open Skies Treaty. At the end of a two-hour meeting of the Atlantic Council, the forum of the Alliance members’ ambassadors in the headquarters of Brussels, the European members left, which was completely unusual, with a press release in which they said they will continue to abide by the 1992 agreement: “We are sorry that the US government has announced its intention to withdraw from Open Skies, even if we share its concerns about Russia’s implementation of its clauses.” However, Europeans say, “it is a crucial element and we will continue to implement the Treaty, which provides clear added value to our conventional arms control architecture and cooperative security. We reiterate that this Treaty remains in function and is useful “. The statement was signed by Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Spain and Sweden.


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A position of rupture with respect to Trump and that breaks the Alliance, as shown by the words spoken at the press conference by his secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, with a different tone to that of the Europeans: «Russia’s selective implementation of its obligations – he said – undermined the contribution of this important Treaty to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region “. Stoltenberg then recalled that within six months the US could “reconsider their withdrawal if Russia returns to full compliance with the Treaty”.

According to a background of Reutersduring the Atlantic Council, European ambassadors allegedly expressed their “concern and concern” to the United States over Trump’s announcement. Some allies fear that the US exit would lead to a consequent withdrawal of Russia from the Treaty, weakening European security just when Moscow-backed separatists hold part of Ukraine and Georgia. The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992, part of the strand of the post-Cold War and post-Soviet agreements. Its purpose was to reduce the risks of misunderstandings, misunderstandings and calculation errors that could lead to war. The treaty allows signatories to operate on short notice of reconnaissance flights, using unarmed devices but with sensors and sophisticated electronic equipment, in order to collect information on the military activities of the counterpart. The idea is that a certain level of transparency can avoid accidents due to incorrect information or errors of interpretation on the other’s moves.



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https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2020/05/22/news/trattato_cieli_aperti_la_nato_preoccupata_-257364526/

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