What is Open Skies Treaty?

Open Skies Treaty: It allows the member nations to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over the territory of the member nations. The US has notified to opt-out from the 35-nation Open Skies Treaty.
May 22, 2020 15:38 IST
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Open Skies Treaty
Open Skies Treaty

On May 21, the Trump administration notified that it would opt-out from the 35-nation Open Skies Treaty as Russia has repeatedly violated the terms of the treaty. The treaty allowed the member nations to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over the territory of the member nations. The US has taken the decision to opt-out and after 6 months it will be automatically out from the treaty. 

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What is the Open Skies Treaty?

On January 1, 2002, the Open Skies Treaty came into force. The treaty currently has 35 member states. The main aim of the treaty was to enhance mutual understanding and confidence among member states by allowing unarmed surveillance flights to gather information about the military forces and related activities. The observational aircrafts used here must be equipped with the sensors that allow the observing party to gather the information. 

Satellites can be used for better and detailed images to sough this information, but all the member nations are not capable enough. 

When Open Skies Treaty was signed?

Open Skies Treaty was signed on March 24, 1992, in Helsinki, Finland. This treaty is based on the 'mutual aerial observation'.  

Open Skies Treaty: Member Nations

The 34 member states which signed the Open Skies Treaty are as follows:
1- Belarus
2- Belgium
3- Bosnia and Herzegovina
4- Bulgaria
5- Canada
6- Croatia
7- The Czech Republic
8- Denmark
9- Estonia
10- Finland
11- France
12- Georgia
13- Germany
14- Greece
15- Hungary
16- Iceland
17- Italy
18- Kazakhstan
19- Latvia
20- Lithuania
21- Luxembourg
22- The Netherlands
23- Norway
24- Poland
25- Portugal
26- Romania
27- The Russian Federation
28- Slovakia
29- Slovenia
30- Spain
31- Sweden
32- Turkey
33- Ukraine
34- United Kingdom

The Open Skies Treaty is implemented by a body known as Open Skies Consultative Commission. This body has representatives from the member nations and conducts monthly meeting at Vienna headquarters of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.

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