Trump to withdraw from Open Skies treaty, Report.
PRESIDENT Donald Trump is withdrawing the US from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows countries to monitor military activity, according to reports.
The Trump administration on Thursday told international partners that it’s pulling the US out of the treaty, which was negotiated three decades ago, claiming that Russia is violating the pact.
Trump, according to The New York Times, plans to inform Russia on Friday about his decision.
The treaty allows more than 30 countries to conduct unarmed, observation flights over other countries with sensor equipment in an effort to promote trust and avert conflict.
The Trump administration said it wants out of the accord because imagery collected during the flights can be obtained quickly at less cost from US or commercial satellites.
For years, US officials have claimed Russia was violating the accord by not allowing flights over a city where it was believed Russia was deploying nuclear weapons that could reach Europe.
Officials have also said Russia hasn’t allowed flights over major Russian military exercises.
Per the Times, the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies have alleged in classified reports that Russia is using flights over the US “to map out critical American infrastructure that could be hit by cyberattacks.”
US officials have noted that Trump was apparently angered by a Russian flight that flew directly over Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey in 2017.
The Open Skies Treaty was first proposed in July 1955 by then-President Dwight Eisenhower, to suggested the US and the former Soviet Union allow aerial flights over each other’s territories.
Moscow rejected the idea, but former President HW Bush negotiated it in 1989 around the time the Soviet Union collapsed, and the treaty entered force in January 2002.