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22 May 2020, 18:58

Belarus regrets USA's withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An archive photo
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An archive photo

MINSK, 22 May (BelTA) – Belarus regrets the USA's decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, BelTA learned from Andrei Shuplyak, Deputy Head of the Information and Digital Diplomacy Office of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The spokesman said: “The treaty is of special importance for our country. It was one of the first international law tools Belarus had acceded to after gaining independence. The Open Skies Treaty is one of the most significant and effectively working military and political tools in the space between Vancouver and Vladivostok. The treaty makes a tangible contribution to better transparency and predictability in military affairs and to stronger trust between the participating states.”

Andrei Shuplyak pointed out that the more than 1,500 observation flights that have been performed since the treaty was signed represent a vivid example of demand for the treaty and the treaty's viability in the changing military and political situation in the Euro-Atlantic space.

The official went on saying: “The USA is an important party to the treaty and makes an essential contribution to its successful implementation. We are convinced that no country is interested in further reduction of trust and the growth of military and political tension in the world, in inflicting serious damage to the architecture of common European security and arms controls. We firmly believe that all problems can be and should be resolved by means of an equal and mutually respectful dialogue within the framework of the Open Skies Consultative Commission, which was created specifically to resolve issues relating to the observance of the treaty's provisions.”

Belarus is ready for constructive cooperation with all the states parties to the treaty for the sake of strengthening the Open Skies Treaty and improving its effectiveness, including in anticipation of the fourth conference on reviewing the treaty's effect. The conference is scheduled to take place in 2020.

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