Former U.S. diplomat Howard Stoffer criticized the U.S. withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies (FON).
According to Stoffer, the announcement of withdrawal from the treaty was a violation of U.S. law. He recalled that the administration should have informed lawmakers of its intention to withdraw from the treaty 120 days in advance, but never did so.
“If I were making recommendations to President [Joe] Biden, I would say, why don’t we consider withdrawing from the DON as invalid, illegal, inappropriate? Why don’t we consider that DON is still valid for U.S. surveillance?” – he wondered. According to the former diplomat, in this case we can hope that Russia and other parties will accept the fact that the U.S. has returned to the treaty.
Earlier, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the new U.S. administration is studying the possibility of returning to the Treaty on Open Skies, from which the country withdrew on November 22, 2020.
The Open Skies Treaty was negotiated in 1992. The agreement allows member states to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory in order to monitor military activities and compliance with existing arms control treaties.