Another Trump Gift to Putin: Admin. Considers Pulling Out of Open Skies Treaty
Reports that Donald Trump’s administration is considering the withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows signatory nations to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over each other’s territory, is causing former diplomats to react with horror, according to Newsweek.
Rep. Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Monday and expressed a widely shared concern at the administration’s “reported plans”.
The treaty allows the 34 party states--which include the U.S., Russia, Ukraine, and most of Europe--to conduct overflights of each other’s territory and monitor military activity.
Jon Wolfsthal, who served as Obama’s senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council explained that, “Russia hates Open Skies because it requires them to let Ukraine fly over their country. This is another Trump gift to Putin.”
In his letter, Engel requested O’Brien’s “personal engagement on this matter to ensure that the United States does not unwisely and rashly withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which continues to serve American national security interests and is particularly important as a check against further Russian aggression against Ukraine.”