Russia to cut number of airfields for USA under Open Skies Treaty in January 2018

From January 1, 2018, Russia is to reduce the number of airfields that the United States is allowed to use under the Open Skies Treaty, a source from military and diplomatic sources told RIA Novosti news agency.

"It goes about the need to bring the list of airfields in line with the treaty. This will be a mirror step in response to US measures against Russia, which are also planned to be introduced in January," the source said.

According to the source, the US intends to close its airspace over Alaska and Hawaii for Russian observers and limit the range of flights.

In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US authorities were preparing to announce restrictions on the flights of Russian military aircraft over the Open Skies Treaty. It was pointed out that flights over Alaska and Hawaii would be restricted.

The US started working on new restrictions after the Russian authorities decided to tighten the rules of flights over the Kaliningrad enclave, the publication said. The treaty allows reconnaissance flights to be up to 5,500 kilometres, while Russia limited their range to 500 kilometres over Kaliningrad.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in Helsinki on March 24, 1992 by representatives of 23 OSCE member states. Russia ratified the treaty in May 2001. The parties to the treaty may fly around each other's territory to monitor military activities. To date, more than 30 states participate in the treaty.


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