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US’ Mixed Signals Over Open Skies Treaty

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US' Mixed Signals Over Open Skies Treaty

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The US military has carried out 21 flights under the Open Skies Treaty in 2019, and there are 38 flights planned for 2020.

According to the Chief of the National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov, the US military was satisfied with the Open Skies Treaty (OST), but it is concerned that Russia may introduce new state-of-the-art technology into the treaty. So, Russia may see ‘more than it should’ during its flights above the US and allies.

“Of the total of 38 observation flights over Russia planned for 2020, the United States announced 21 flights. In 2017 and 2018, the States conducted 16 observation flights over us. Thus, it is obvious that the US military is interested in OST,” Ryzhkov wrote in a piece published in the Russian Armed Forces’ official outlet Krasnaya Zvezda.

“The advantages of the Russian Federation in obtaining information have grown significantly and become obvious. It became clear that in the direction of introducing advanced technologies in OST, we are ahead of our partners by about 5-6 years,” he stressed.

According to Ryzhkov, “the National Security Council and the US intelligence community began to seriously think about how to prevent Russian digital flights over its territory and developed a vigorous campaign to accuse Russia of violating military agreements.”

“Every year, the website of the US Department of State published analyzes of the implementation of international arms control obligations, which paid considerable attention to the ‘unfair implementation’ of the Open Skies Treaty by the Russian Federation,” he underlined.

He also recalled that earlier the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the US Congress, Eliot Engel, who was alarmed by reports that the White House was considering the possibility of a unilateral exit of the States from the OST.

“With regard to the withdrawal of the United States from the treaty, it can be assumed with a high degree of certainty that the opponents of the treaty are driven by a desire to oppose Russia’s progress in this direction. At the same time, obvious self-interests are pushed into the background,” Ryzhkov stressed.

“Thus, we see signs of serious contradictions in Washington regarding the withdrawal from the treaty. This is confirmed by the fact that a group of influential US parliamentarians sent Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper a petition urging them to abandon their intentions to withdraw from the OST.”

Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, agreed that the treaty has been beneficial for the US, its allies, and even Russia.

“The treaty provides information about Russian military activities for the US and allies in Europe,” Kimball told Business Insider. “And it also provides the Russians with some insight about some of our capabilities. And that transparency reduces uncertainty and the risk of conflict due to worst-case assumptions.”

The Open Skies Agreement was signed on March 24th, 1992, and entered into force on January 1st, 2002. 34 states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) participate in it. OST is intended for air monitoring of the military activities of countries, assistance in the implementation of existing and future agreements in the field of arms control, crisis prevention and environmental protection.

Countries that are part of the treaty must notify other nations 72 hours in advance of missions to conduct an observational flight, to which the host country has one day to respond.

On April 4th, a Russian Tu-154 conducted an observational flight over Great Falls, Montana and for several days took aerial photos.

“This is not a spying operation,” Kimball said. “These are observational flights. It is a form of monitoring and verification about the military activities and facilities on each side.”

Kimball, trying to play down a possible withdrawal, said the US had significant satellite capabilities that could mitigate a lapse in observational flights, but he added that a pullout from the treaty might affect US allies.

“Where this is particularly valuable is for our allies who don’t have these capabilities,” Kimball said. “We should not dispense with this treaty that’s been working for a couple of decades now.”

In 2018, Russian officials accused the US of violating the spirit of the agreement by not approving its aircraft to conduct observational missions, according to Defense News.

In response, the US accused Russia of restricting flight access, US officials accused Russia of violating the treaty by restricting flights in Kaliningrad. Referring to Russia’s alleged denial, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton characterized the outrage as hypocrisy and advocated a US withdrawal from the treaty.

“It’s rich for the Russians to protest the US’s refusal to certify one of their planes for the Open Skies Treaty when they routinely restrict surveillance flights over Kaliningrad,” Cotton said in. “The Open Skies Treaty is out of date and favors Russia, and the best way forward is to leave it.”

Despite the accusations, the above-mentioned Eliot Engel said the US should not withdraw from the treaty. “US relations with Russia have become more acrimonious and complicated in the last decade,” he said in his letter.

“The United States should prepare for the challenge that Russia presents — not abandon mechanisms that provide the United States with an important tool in maintaining surveillance on Russia.”

It appears that both Russia, the US and others benefit from the treaty, but recent US foreign policy shows that it is totally acceptable to “cut off your nose to spite the face.”

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  • Prince Teutonic

    So if Russia is currently using “obsolete” technology in their spy planes then their info gathered from these flights are no better then info from their spy satellites…

    • AM Hants

      Seriously, when the US always accuses others of carrying out what the US does. I guess Russian technology, would be as bad as say US space engines, according to you? Remind me, but, how does the US manage to make it into Space?

      Not forgetting if US spy satellites were so good, then whey could they not provide any intelligence, when they were activated, when the MH17 went down?

      • Ralph London

        I think the US satellites could have provided evidence, but of the WRONG kind, destroying the West’s attack on Russia.

        • AM Hants

          Which, despite John Kerry, saying they had all the evidence, the US provided nought. Same with NATO, who were finishing off ‘Exercise Breeze’ on the day the MH17 was taken out.

      • Ralph London

        berkCOW – Berkowitz – the bad jew has stuffed up our vote, ONE person against over 16 million voters.

    • Ceasar Polar

      Russia is 5-6 years ahead of the US in terms of radio-radar-frequency manipulation/detection.
      Also 5 years ahead in rocket technology, they already have hypersonic missiles where the US is struggling to get into that realm of knowledge.
      Also the US still purchase RD180 reactors for their space program (nasa) they still dont have a US made reactor that can perform anything close to the Russian reactor.
      The S300/S400 are both superior to US patriot defense battery.
      They are a lot of fields where Russia knowledge outpace the US’s not just reconnaissance.

      • Prince Teutonic

        Actually in the field of satellite reconnaissance Russia is far behind US even according by some Russian generals. Where US satellites have (best – perigee) resolution of 7cm per pixel new Russian satellite (Hrazdan – not even launched yet) will “only” have (best) resolution of 24cm…

        • Ceasar Polar

          Sure, the satellite resolution better for the US. How about the rockets that launch the satellite? these are Russian imported RD-180 rocket engines, and the US cannot stop buying them from Russia because it doesnt have the knowledge to do so. All the previous Nazi imported scientists are all 6 feet under, present scientists can only produce overly expensive stuff that dont work efficiently.

          https://www.rt.com/news/463401-us-russia-rocket-engines/

  • AM Hants

    US 24/7 snoopers, fly over Russia or close to it’s borders, yet, do not want Russia to do the same? Thought the US were pulling out of the ‘Open Skies Agreement’?

    • אהרון

      Riddle me this. How many times since Russia invaded Ukraine has Russian nuclear bombers flown right up to West Coast U.S. airspace and how long has Russia permanently stationed a spy vessel off the U.S. East Coast?

      You could be a better person, be part of the solution instead of the problem, if you wanted to, Darling.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Don’t be a ZioTwat, ‘Darling’.

        • אהרון

          Were those Ukrainian Defense Forces who took control of the streets of Crimea, Ukraine in 2014, as Vladimir Putin first claimed, or were those Russian special forces, as Vlad later admitted?

          • FlorianGeyer

            The train load of armed Ukranian ZioNazi ‘defence’ (intimidation) forces travelling to Crimea found out that a civilian reception committee was waiting to welcome them with clubs and rocks. The ZioNazis stopped the train before in reached the station and fled back to the shithole they came from.

            The people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia. There is a lot more that either you do not know, or you do not wish to know.

            Why would anyone wish to belong to the Ukranian that is responsible for deliberately burning to death civilians in the Trades Union building in Odessa.

            Goodbye.

          • אהרון

            I find it telling that you chose not to answer my question.

            Was Vladimir Putin lying when he told the world that those were Ukrainian Defense Forces who took control of the streets of Crimea, Ukraine in 2014 or was he lying when he later explained that those were Russian special forces?

          • Ricky Miller

            He admitted later that they were Russian troops, pointing out that Russian forces have been legally in Crimea under agreement since 1991. He also pointed out that they reacted to events and did not cause them. The cause was the disenfranchisement of ethnic Russians in Ukraine and the street overthrow of their elected government. Crimea was then two thirds ethnic Russian, more now, and this population, who was never happy with being attached to Ukraine anyway, walked through the door that these illegal and chaotic events opened. What was the death toll in Crimea? In comparison what was the death toll in the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia? The illegal and deceptive Iraq campaign? The ongoing Yemen atrocity? The destruction of Libya, so complete that slaves are now sold on the street? Really, enough said.

          • אהרון

            So we’re each aware that President Putin lied to the world regarding who those “Little Green Men” without insignia were who took control of the streets, local radio and television stations and the Crimean Parliament over the border into Ukraine.

            How many weeks prior to sending Russian special forces into Ukraine did Vladimir Putin direct his national security team to take this action into Ukraine and are we aware of any violence, of any kind, in Crimea prior to that directive?

          • Ricky Miller

            Now who needs to grow up? And you miss, on purpose, the whole point. The coup, and right wing thugs running around Ukraine beating up Russian speakers, humiliating the police. Putin told a tactical lie and used the deployment to keep Ukrainian forces in their bases. Three people died. As opposed to the full million who died when the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Or Syria, where the United States armed the very militants it claims to fight against. As I said, there are not really two sides to this story. The United States acts, brazenly, to force control over others and Russia reacts, claiming some order from the wreckage. You harp on the reaction as if it’s original sin itself while the brute bully seemingly escapes your nose. Which makes you a propaganda arm of the Neocon neo-colonial world order, in my book and I’ll value your opinions accordingly.

          • אהרון

            Oh stop. Ukrainians were not “running around beating up Russian speakers”. The fact is most Ukrainians speak Russian.

            We can get to the coup later. Now answer the question. How many weeks prior to sending Russian special forces into Ukraine did Vladimir Putin direct his national security team to take this action?

          • Ricky Miller

            No. You are not in charge of the conversation. For me the coup is paramount and of course you dismiss it. You want to avoid the criminal provocations and focus on the response. You speak like a corrupt prosecutor, asking how many years before did she buy and carry a gun after some woman kills a would be rapist while getting in her car late one night. You=we are reviewing any possible criminal charges and want to know how she came to own and carry a firearm. The rest of us= um, how about the assault?

          • Ricky Miller

            And you’re wrong. Russian speakers were not just assaulted across Ukraine in 2014 they were killed. Two dozen in Odessa, burned alive and eight Crimeans were hauled off buses returning from a pro government rally in Kiev and murdered. The ethnic Russian majority in Crimea had plenty to fear during that time and Russian forces protected them while they decided their own future. And I’m fine with that. Get it through your head, Crimea is now part of Russia and isn’t going back.

          • Ralph London

            You’re also like a dumbfuck looking at the wrong end of a telescope.

          • Ralph London

            You’re a fucking stupid, useless LOSER, boy.

          • Concrete Mike

            So a law banning the use of russian language is ok with you?

            Its like going to canada and say you cant speak french, wtf quebec would do?

            Yoi can see anything because your head is in the sand.

            When your head is in the sand your ass is in the air.

          • Ralph London

            And, which means he SHARES in the condemnation, and subsequent judgment, by defending evildoers.

          • gustavo

            “WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION” claimed by ISrael-USA-NATO.

          • Ralph London

            You really are a stupid, unrealistic moron. I’m GLAD he helped the Donbass people, otherwise they might have been massacred.

            Why don’t you concentrate on the satanic, mass murdering, lying usg!!!??? It’s OK for the USG LYING about those Iraqi WMDs, right?

            Are you a shitty little COWARD??? Get your butt over to thesaker.is and challenge Auslander on Crimea, you bloody wimp.

          • Ralph London

            He obviously cares NOTHING for all those innocent people MURDERED; he has to criticise Putin for DEFENDING people, that’s how fucking SICK he is, never mind criticising the ATTACKERS.

          • Ralph London

            Maybe you’re not WORTH a response, or you deserve to be SHAT upon?

          • Concrete Mike

            It was both dipshit.

            The overwhming majority were crimean civilians, when a horde of orcs is coming to kill all russians and your a russian sailor, wtf do you do?

            Your argument is stupid and flawed, as the crimeans acted in self defense. Just like the for example , the kosovars.

            The Kosovo precedent has been set, The Crimean secession from Ukraine followed the same principles, so you can stop crying now. Thanks

          • אהרון

            One can easily see why this site remains tiny. By my best count there are a couple hundred of you all regurgitating the same few conspiracy theories.

            BTW: When I opposed the Kosovo precedent Vlad Putin agreed with me.

          • Concrete Mike

            Kosovo happened in 1999 Putin came to the presidency in 2000.

            Once again you are absolutly full of shit.

            You may oppose the precendent, but it has been set. It is now a two way street, NATO opened pandoras box, and now your crying about the results?

            Just because i dont agree with the atlantic council think tank does not mean i regurgitate conspiracy theories.

            Matter of fact, it is you regurgitating what the think tanks are telling you to. I can think for myself, and Ive come to the conclusion that Ukraine has been taken over by fascist oligarchs with american support.

            Your obviously stirring shit up.

            If you dont like our views, go to another site, that simple,.instead you harass AM , its pretty clear what your intentions are.
            Vile vermin.

          • אהרון

            Argue as an adult and stop your adolescent tantrums or move on, kid.

            Putin calls Kosovo independence ‘terrible precedent‘”

          • Ralph London

            Again, you are too FUCKING stupid! You SUPPORT NEO-NAZIS like the azov battalion, wrong sector etc, you fucked up moron. What’s the difference with German nazis calling Jews Untermensch and shit ukrainians calling Donbass people Colorado beetles, and far far worse, you stupid SFB idiot!

      • Ceasar Polar

        Hasbara troll detected!
        1st Russia never invaded Ukraine, despite kike controlled MSM widespread anti-russia sentiment. Crimea had a democratic referendum and all voted to join Russian mainland and get Russian passports, which is much better off for them anyways.
        Now for the intercontinental nuclear armed flights around the West cost. You have to know that after the cold war Russia suspended the constant flights near the US’s mainland with nuclear weapons. Whereas the US had decided to continue its flights on Russia’s borders and never stoped not even 1 year. Russia stopped for like 15 years, it is only until 4 years ago that Russia restarted the intercontinental nuclear armed flights.
        Needless to speak of the NATO expansion all way east where it was promised to Russia not to move one inch east of East Germany.
        So you Kike-zioNazi-scum propaganda, you can shove it up your gay-ass.
        The problem is an imperialist agenda controlled by zionazis.
        Russia is resisting that agenda, that is why you kikes hate Russia so much.

        • אהרון

          Grow up, kid, and learn some self-respect.

          • Ceasar Polar

            No respect for zioNazis.
            You will never be respected on this earth.
            A thug is a thug.

          • אהרון

            Once again, grow the hell up!

          • Ceasar Polar

            Dude im old enough to have probably banged your mom if we were in the same city.

          • אהרון

            I don’t believe you. You come off as a 10 yr old. You truly need to learn some self-respect.

          • Ceasar Polar

            What’s you goal here, putting me in defense mode ?
            Try another one on your checklist

          • אהרון

            Oh stop. You contacted me, kid.

          • Ceasar Polar

            Again, what is your goal here ?

          • אהרון

            My goal with AM is two-fold.

            1. Illustrate why trolling with two of her compatriots is nothing but ugly (she understands)

            2. Illustrate how there’s always, at the very least, two sides to every story

            Your goal here is to be nasty, childish, small-minded and all-too-common while hoping to shutdown opposing points of view. Conduct yourself as an adult and we may continue. Otherwise, good luck to you and move on.

          • Ceasar Polar

            2 sides of a story is true, but what comes out of kike-controlled-zionazi-MSM is all but lies, distorted truth, and controlled narrative.
            You want to the truth? You gotta dig for it, no one will serve it to you on a platter or on national TV. Truth nowadays is fought and persecuted because of kike-controlled-MSM.

            So to end this discussion with you, you wont force your controlled narrative in here, this is twitter where you can shadow-ban users for saying something outside of the controlled narrative.

            Well now im done with you, good day.

          • Ricky Miller

            There are not two sides to the story you refer. Russia destroyed via reprocessing the plutonium as required by treaty, the United States did not. The United States and certain satellites have repeatedly violated the United Nations Charter by attacking states outside of self defense or UNSC authorization, whereas Russia advocates strict compliance with same and respect for the internal affairs of other states. It was the U.S. which “fucked the EU” and overthrew the lawful and elected government in Ukraine and empowered Ukronazis, thus setting off the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine crisis. It was the United States that withdrew from the ABM treaty and attempted full spectrum dominance causing Russia to have to spend more that $100 billion rebuilding a deadly arsenal of modernized ICBM’s and new Ballistic missile submarines. The two sides to this story is that one side is attempting Empire and Globalist hegemony, amateur-ishly disguised and the other is resisting in the name of self defense and International order.

          • Ralph London

            And for being on the right side, as well as DEFENDING itself from satanic US ATTACKERS.

          • Ralph London

            It’s NOT about 2 sides to every story, you dumbfuck MORON, it’s about who is RIGHT, and who is wrong, who knows and tells the truth, and who is ignorant and a LIAR, stirring up SHIT, smell the difference, BOY.

          • Ralph London

            You also are either too stupid to understand ‘color revolutions’, caring NOTHING for the INNOCENT victims, like Kristina and Kira, or you DELIBERATELY cover it up with your BS. And we will continue to rip you to shreds for it.

          • Concrete Mike

            We dont need a devils advocates here.

            Who the fuck are you coming here smearing other commenters?

            Crawl.back to new york times now please.

          • Ralph London

            He’s a stupid Shit stirrer.

          • Ralph London

            Nobody likes you, why is that, boy?

          • Ralph London

            First stop writing your SHIT lies.

          • Sparrow
          • אהרון
          • gustavo

            This is jews propaganda. UN is controlled by jews.

          • Sparrow

            ha ok sure the UN on human rights…are you kidding me? who the hell are you to speak about human rights coming from a jew with no heart and lying soul? an elephant in the room will finally stomp you 6 miles under.

          • Sparrow
          • Ceasar Polar

            BDS
            FREE occupied Palestine!

          • Sparrow
          • Ralph London

            You don’t deserve ANY, you’re a nasty piece of work, a disgrace to all the GOOD Jews. Now wonder persecution of innocent Jews is going up, in part because of SHITS like YOU, boy.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Well said.

      • AM Hants

        Considering Russia has not invaded Ukraine, cannot answer your questions. However, Russia, does not conduct 24/7 exercises on the borders of the US, now do they? Plus, they have also signed up to the ‘Open Skies Agreement’.

        • gustavo

          It has not sense to discuss with jews kids, they believe what the Torah says (nonsens book).

          • AM Hants

            Sadly, I take pity on the trolls losing out on their monthly bonus. So stupidly I answer them.

          • Ralph London

            Liars don’t deserve pity or your time and effort, AM.
            Whatever happened to that Israeli terrorist sympathizer, haven’t seen him for a while.

          • AM Hants

            Change their names, then come back, doubling down on the same old comments.

          • Ralph London

            Oops! Just saw him reply to you yesterday, there’s a surprise.

      • Concrete Mike

        Russia mever invaded ukraine, filthy liar.

        The democratically.elected government of ukraine was overthrown, using nazis militias as boots on the ground.

        Remember the georgian snipers shooting willy nilly.into the crowd?

        Pepperidge farms remembers.

        What about anpledge by these same nazis to kill.all russians? These same.nazis that are in the current government, is that ok?

        Bitch please, the only.fools that support ukraine are propagandized idiots and fascists. Which are you?

    • FlorianGeyer

      I have so far, listened to two of the Polly videos you recommended, AM, and I am impressed by her appraisals of the issues concerned. As for the US open skys furore, what have they got to hide?

      • AM Hants

        I think it was Snowglobe, who recommended her. I have only had the time to listen to one of her videos, at present, but, seriously impressed with what she had to say and how she presented her argument.

        • FlorianGeyer

          You may like this, AM.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVXmrasJwCE&lc=z22uxfxpzt21utbdyacdp432cvf1kjm0nk2zvpsdnyxw03c010c

          There was also a BBC report saying that 800 plus paedophiles had been identified in various countries, including the UK and arrests were taking place. This video fleshes out more detail.One paedo group was using US government computers in the US Senate building to access the Dark Web Paedo site where the 800 + were members. Senators are in the bag. Two have committed suicide.

          The countries named in this bust are mostly Anglo Saxon plus the Saudi’s etc of course.

          The fact that the BBC even mentioned all of this must mean that the story is too big to bury, even for the Kiddy Fiddler sympathisers within the BBC.
          IF there is traction for more arrests of the super rich in power, it will create a seismic political change where literally thousands of the corporate business’s, Police forces,Universities, National Armies, Hollywood et al will be in turmoil.

          I might make a Guillotine , ‘Because their worth it’ :)

          • AM Hants

            Thanks. Snowglobe posted a link, last week, with regards the above story, but, the link was the US Justice Department. Just popped over to Before It’s News, as sometimes you get a decent article. Just listening to Amazing Polly and Child Predation Services of Arizona. No doubt, you will find many coincidences in the Amazing Polly Article, and the your article. Seriously hope the story gets too large for the masses to ignore.

      • David Parker

        If Polly is news, URL for Polly please?

        • FlorianGeyer
          • David Parker

            Thanks. I find Ron Unz – unz.com – to be very interesting and authoritative. Also lewrockwell.com and GaryNorth.com

          • FlorianGeyer

            Thank you for the links.

  • Boycott-Saudi!!!

    Because it is so easy for Russia to detect and simply shoot down every single one of US Military spy-aircraft, drone etc. While the US is (assume) having a hard time to catch up on the stealth & radar technology.

  • Toronto Tonto

    The USA does not need to fly over the terrorist Russia to see what they are doing anymore , they can see clearly from above .

    • gustavo

      Wrong, within USA-Russia agreement, USA-NATO fly once a year over Russia to watch the weapon deployed there, and Russia fly once a year over USA-NATO to see the weapons deployed there. Besides, USA-Russia has satellites capabilities to see anything inside each territory.