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(Russia/Open Skies Treaty/USA) Russia’s pullout of Open Skies Treaty was inevitable due to US position, says Beijing (TASS)

Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies, announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry Friday, was inevitable due to the lack of desire to cooperate in the United States, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying told a regular briefing Monday.

“As I understand the direct reason behind Moscow’s decision to initiate the procedure to exit the Treaty on Open Skies was the US unilateral pullout despite the international position. It significantly undermined bilateral trust between the armed forces of the two countries and transparency between the sides,” she noted.

“Russia tries to preserve the treaty but did not receive any positive reaction from the US or other parties to the treaty,” the diplomat underlined.

“For a long time now, the US has stuck to the Cold War mentality and the America first policy, simultaneously leaving multilateral agreements and international organizations which affects the international arms control regime and disarmament. Facts show that a bright future can be secured through dialogue and cooperation rather than unilateral policies. China is calling on the US to listen to concerns of the international community and take measures to maintain global strategic stability, peace and security in the region and beyond,” the spokesperson concluded.

On January 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia launches withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies. Other parties will receive the relevant notification when the domestic procedures are completed.

Washington was accusing Russia of selective compliance with the treaty and violation of a number of the treaty clauses for several years. Russia has its own complaints to Washington regarding the treaty implementation. In 2017, Washington announced introduction of certain restrictions against Russian surveillance flight over the US territory, causing Russia to respond in a mirror-like fashion. The US pulled out from the Open Skies Treaty on November 22.