Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday formally withdrawing Moscow from the “Open Skies” arms control treaty that allows unarmed reconnaissance flights over the territory of its member states.
Putin had hoped to discuss the treaty with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, when they meet this month at a summit in Geneva.
But the Biden administration told Moscow in May that it would not return to the treaty, which former President Donald Trump withdrew from last year.
The Kremlin said today that the US decision to withdraw “significantly undermined the balance of interests” between member states and forced Russia to withdraw.
Russian officials said they regretted Washington’s decision, calling it a “political mistake” and warning that the move would not create a favorable atmosphere for arms control discussions at the Geneva summit later this month.
The treaty, which entered into force in January 2002, became one of Europe’s post-Cold War confidence-building measures, and allowed the 34 participating countries to publicly collect information about each other’s forces and military activities.