OREANDA-NEWS. Moscow is struck by the reaction of NATO and the EU to Russia's withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, because the US was the first to leave the treaty, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"For almost 30 years, the Open Skies Treaty has helped all parties to better understand each other's intentions in the military sphere. In this regard, the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty is unilateral, under far-fetched pretexts, grossly upset the balance of interests, put our country in an unequal position. from the point of view of military transparency. In these circumstances, Moscow's further participation in the treaty has completely lost its meaning, "Lavrov said at the Moscow International Security Conference.

"The reaction to our absolutely natural, long-designated step on the part of NATO and the EU, which hypocritically urged Moscow not to destroy the treaty, is striking, as if they forgot about Washington's irrevocable decision to withdraw from it as the root cause of the current crisis," the minister added.

The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 and became one of the confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War, allowing 34 participating countries to openly collect information about each other's military forces and activities. In May 2020, the United States launched a withdrawal procedure, which ended on November 22. In response to this decision, the Russian Foreign Ministry on January 15, 2021 announced the launch of domestic procedures for withdrawing from the treaty. On June 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law denouncing the document.