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Germany regrets US withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty & remains committed to it, foreign minister says

Germany regrets US withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty & remains committed to it, foreign minister says
The Open Skies Treaty, allowing military observation flights over the territories of signatory states, is an important part of arms control and Germany will abide by it despite the US' withdrawal, German FM Heiko Maas has said. 

On Sunday, Washington officially quit the multinational deal, accusing Moscow of violating its terms, despite never providing evidence for such claims. In addition to the US and Russia, Canada and most of Europe were also part of the agreement that came into force in 2002. 

Maas said that he regretted the decision made by the Trump administration. He pointed out that the Open Skies Treaty contributes to confidence building and the promotion of security in the whole northern hemisphere "from Vladivostok to Vancouver."

Also on rt.com Open Skies no more: US breaks with its NATO allies to pull out of Cold War-era deal that aided global security, blaming Russia

Germany, Washington's NATO ally, will remain committed to the agreement, the foreign minister said in a statement. 

He added that existing multilateral arms control treaties must be modernized to include measures for confidence-building mechanisms so the world is prepared for new security challenges. 

The pullout from the Open Skies Treaty follows Washington’s withdrawal last year from the INF treaty, which prohibited the US and Russia from using a number of highly destructive weapons with ranges of between 500km and 5,500km. The New START treaty now remains the only major non-proliferation deal between the two nuclear powers. However, it expires in February and Washington has so far been reluctant to extend it.

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