International Relations Multilateral Prelims cum Mains

Will exit Open Skies Treaty, announces U.S.

#Open Skies Treaty     

In News

      • The U.S, has given a notice that it will exit the Open Skies Treaty (OST), an agreement that allows countries to monitor signatories’ arms development by conducting surveillance flights over each other’s territories.


 In Focus: Open Skies Treaty


      • The treaty was initially proposed to in 1955 by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower but was rejected by the Soviets (USSR).
      • In 1989, the Open Skies concept was reintroduced by President George H. W. Bush as a means to build confidence and security between all North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Warsaw Pact countries.
      • In February 1990, an international Open Skies conference involving all NATO and Warsaw Pact countries opened in Ottawa, Canada. Subsequent rounds of negotiations were held and in 1992, the Open Skies Treaty was signed in Helsinki.
      • The treaty entered into force in 2002, after Russia and Belarus completed ratification procedures.


About the Treaty:

      • The Open Skies Treaty establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is not related to civil-aviation open skies agreements.
      • It is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them.
      • It is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.
      • The Open Skies Consultative Commission is the implementing body for the Treaty on Open Skies. It comprises representatives from each state party to the treaty and meets monthly at the Vienna headquarters of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.

Key Facts About the Open Skies Treaty

Territory Covered:

      • The Open Skies regulations covers the territory over which the parties exercise sovereignty, including mainland, islands, and internal and territorial waters.
      •  The treaty specifies that the entire territory of a member state is open to observation and observation flights may only be restricted for reasons of flight safety and not for reasons of national security.


State parties to the Treaty

      • The treaty which is one of unlimited duration, currently has 35 party states and is open to accession by other states. Republics of the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) that have not already become state parties to the treaty may join it at any time.
      •  Applications from other interested countries are subject to a consensus decision by the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC).


News Summary:

      • The U.S. Secretary of State, who announced the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty (OST) said the reason for the decision was Russia’s continuous violation of the treaty.
      • However, the U.S. President said that the deal could be amended or a new agreement could be made, to put a similar arrangement back together.


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Wish you a very Good luck 🤞



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