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Trump to Withdraw From "Open Skies" Arms Control Treaty

  •  World
© EPA-EFE/KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL

President Trump has decided to withdraw from another major arms control accord, according to senior administration officials, and will inform Russia on Friday that the United States is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, negotiated three decades ago to allow nations to fly over each other’s territory with elaborate sensor equipment to assure they are not preparing for military action, The New York Times reports.

Mr. Trump’s decision will be viewed as more evidence that he also may be poised to exit the one major arms treaty remaining with Russia: New START, which limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed nuclear missiles each. It expires weeks after the next presidential inauguration.

American officials have long complained that Moscow was violating the Open Skies accord by not permitting flights over a city where it was believed Russia was deploying nuclear weapons that could reach Europe, as well as forbidding flights over major Russian military exercises.+

And, in classified reports, the Pentagon and American intelligence agencies have contended the Russians are also using flights over the United States to map out critical American infrastructure that could be hit by cyberattacks.


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