US withdrawal from Open Skies threatens nuclear weapons control and Baltic security

Last week, the New York Times announced that the Trump administration wanted to withdraw the USA from the "Open Skies" treaty. While this international agreement now plays a minor role in arms control, it still remains highly symbolic and contributes directly to the security of certain allies of the United States, notably the Baltic countries.

For the White House, the American withdrawal would be justified by the lack of transparency and the repeated violations of Russia vis-à-vis the Open Skies agreements, as we mentioned in our previous article on this subject. In the middle of an election year, and while Donald Trump is still presenting himself as an outstanding international negotiator, the withdrawal of Open Skies seems above all to prepare for the American withdrawal of the New START agreements which limit the number of nuclear weapons held by the United States. States and Russia. So far, Trump's provocations to push Moscow to renegotiate the treaties have all largely failed.

The US uses two OC-135s, former modified tankers, to conduct their Open Skies flights. By leaving the Open Skies deal, Washington will save the cost of replacing them.

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