US says it will not rejoin Open Skies treaty with Russia.

The United States told Russia on Thursday 27 May 2021 it will not rejoin the Open Skies arms control pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, a US official reportedly said.

Citing unnamed US officials, The Associated Press reported that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Russians that the Biden administration had decided not to re-enter the treaty, which had allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries before President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact.

Thursday’s decision means only one major arms control treaty between the nuclear powers – the New START treaty – will remain in place. Trump had done nothing to extend New START, which would have expired earlier this year, but after taking office, the Biden administration moved quickly to extend it for five years and opened a review into Trump’s Open Skies Treaty withdrawal.

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