The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 as a tool for overseeing arms control treaties. It allowed, among other things, to conduct reconnaissance flights over the territories of NATO countries and former Warsaw Pact countries. It entered into force in 2002, and its signatories are currently 34 countries, including Germany, France, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Great Britain and Poland.
Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Open Skies Treaty
Until November 22, the United States was also on that list. The treaty has just officially withdrawn, and the American president was formalized in May this year. Donald Trump then signed a formal memorandum in this case, he accused Russia of breaking the agreement and using the possibility of flying over the United States to locate infrastructure that could be the target of cyber attacks. According to the administration of the incumbent president, Russia limited flights near Kaliningrad, where there is a strong military presence of the Russian army, and this is the area between Poland and Lithuania, NATO members.
What will Joe Biden do?
According to the correspondent of the Polish Radio in the White House, Marek Wałkuski, in the meantime, the Pentagon decided to get rid of two OC-135B spy planes that carried out missions under the Open Skies Treaty and canceled the tender for the purchase of machines that were to replace them. This decision could make it difficult to rejoin the treaty if the future president wanted to do so – which, by all indications, he will become Joe Biden. And such a step is not out of the question, given that it opposed a withdrawal, as did other US politicians in the Democratic Party.