MINSK, 6 July (BelTA) - The Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation express their regret over the decision by the United States of America to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies (OST), reads a joint statement posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BelTA has learned.
The statement stresses that this step could seriously damage the architecture of pan-European security and the system of arms control agreements.
“The Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation, that form a group of OST States Parties, stand ready to engage in equitable, mutually respectful dialogue aimed at seeking a comprehensive solution to the Treaty's implementation issues, without ultimatums and with all its parties taking into consideration interests and concerns of each other. When defining and implementing our future line regarding the Treaty, we will closely cooperate within the group of OST States Parties, guided by the goals of maintaining international stability, improving effectiveness and viability of the Treaty by strengthening trust among its States Parties and taking into account the interests of Belarus and Russia,” the document reads.
At the initiative of the depositary states of the Treaty on Open Skies – Hungary and Canada, the States Parties to the Treaty will hold a video conference on 6 July to discuss the consequences of the USA's withdrawal from the treaty. The conference will bring together all the States Parties of the multilateral mechanism. In connection with the conference, the delegations of Belarus and Russia have circulated the above-mentioned joint statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed.