Monday, May 31, 2021

Biden Attacked Trump for Withdrawing from Open Skies Treaty, Now He Tells Russia U.S. Won’t Rejoin, and related stories

Alexander Natruskin/Reuters
Biden Attacked Trump for Withdrawing from Open Skies Treaty, Now He Tells Russia U.S. Won’t Rejoin:
Last May, when President Trump announced a decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, candidate Joe Biden blasted the decision, claiming Trump had, “doubled down on his short-sighted policy of going it alone and abandoning American leadership.” Yet ahead of a summit with Vladimir Putin next month, the Biden administration has informed Russia that it has no intention of rejoining the agreement.
The Trump administration withdrew from the agreement, which started in 2002 as a way for dozens of countries to freely conduct surveillance flights over each other’s territory. When Trump decided to withdraw, noting that Russia was not abiding by its commitments under the treaty, Democrats responded in high dungeon.
“The President’s withdrawal will senselessly blind America and our allies while emboldening our enemies,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fumed. “This decision sends a clear signal to the Russians that they can continue their bad behavior unwatched and unchecked.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer joined with leading Democratic committee chairs in writing a letter declaring, “The Open Skies Treaty is an important, multilateral agreement that provides the United States and its allies critical information about Russian military forces via flights over Russian territory.” --->READ MORE HERE
Win McNamee/Getty Images
U.S. tells Russia it won't rejoin Open Skies arms control pact:
The Biden administration informed Russia on Thursday that it will not rejoin a key arms control pact, even as the two sides prepare for a summit next month between their leaders, the State Department said.
U.S. officials said Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Russians that the administration had decided not to reenter the Open Skies Treaty, which had allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries before President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact. As a presidential candidate, Biden had criticized Trump's withdrawal as “short-sighted.”
Thursday's decision means only one major arms control treaty between the nuclear powers — the New START treaty — will remain in place. Trump had done nothing to extend New START, which would have expired earlier this year, but after taking office, the Biden administration moved quickly to extend it for five years and opened a review into Trump's Open Skies Treaty withdrawal.
The officials said that the review had been completed and that Sherman had informed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of the U.S. decision not to return to the 1992 Open Skies Treaty. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The State Department later announced the move. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

Rejoining Open Skies would send ‘wrong message’ to Russia, State tells partners

US tells Russia it won't rejoin open skies arms control pact

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