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The Russian President is formalizing Moscow’s withdrawal from the treaty ahead of the long-awaited summit in Geneva with Joe Biden.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday that formalizes Russia’s withdrawal from the open-air arms control pact, a pact that allows unarmed observation flights over member countries.
Russia had hoped that Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden could negotiate a treaty when they meet later this month at a summit in Geneva.
But the Biden administration informed Moscow in May that it would not re-enter the pact after the Trump administration withdrew last year.
The Kremlin said on Monday that the US decision to withdraw from the treaty “significantly upset the balance of interests” between the parties to the pact and forced Russia to withdraw.
“It seriously damaged the treaty’s compliance and its significance for building confidence and transparency, (posing) a threat to Russia’s national security,” the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.
Moscow hoped that Biden would reverse his predecessor’s decision.
But the Biden administration did not change tactics, accusing Russia of violating the pact, which Moscow denies.
Russian officials said they regretted the US decision not to join, calling it a “political mistake” and warned that the move would not create an atmosphere conducive to arms control discussions at the Geneva summit.
In January, Russia announced plans to withdraw from the treaty, and last month the government presented a law to parliament formalizing its withdrawal.
At the time, a Kremlin spokesman said that one of the reasons was that the United States could still receive the information it received under the treaty from its NATO allies.
But US officials said Russia violated the treaty by limiting US overflights over neighboring Russia Georgia and the Russian enclave in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea coast.
Russia denies any wrongdoing.
The treaty, signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002, allows countries to conduct short-term unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of other parties and collect information on each other’s armed forces.
Its goal is to increase transparency and build trust between countries.
Members include countries in Europe, the former Soviet Union and Canada.
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