US tells Russia it won’t rejoin open skies arms control pact

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The United States has told Russia that it will not rejoin the Open Skies arms control pact, The Associated Press reported Thursday.  

The news comes ahead of the planned summit on June 16 between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

U.S. officials told the AP that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman informed Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov that they will opt out of the pact. 

The Open Skies arms control agreement allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries to build trust about each country’s military forces. Since 2002, more than 1,500 flights have been conducted under the treaty, according to the AP. 

It leaves the New START treaty, which was extended in February, as the only open arms agreement in place between both countries. Russia recently accused the U.S. of exceeding the limits of that arms treaty. 

The Hill has reached out to White House for comment.

Tags biden administration Joe Biden Russia Vladimir Putin Washignton D.C.
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