A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (15 January 2021) on the announcement by Russia that it intends to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies:
It is with great regret that we have learned that Russia is launching the relevant procedures to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies. This is a severe setback for the international arms control architecture and will clearly have an impact on security and confidence in the northern hemisphere. It is in Russia’s own interest to remain engaged in a constructive dialogue on the future of the Treaty. Only recently, all States Parties agreed to discuss various proposals put forward by Russia after the United States’ withdrawal from the Treaty. At the same time, Foreign Minister Maas and 15 of his European colleagues emphasised in a joint letter to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the end of December that they intend to adhere to the Treaty and its full implementation. Germany has made yet another visible commitment in this regard by procuring an Airbus A319 observation aircraft. Irrespective of Russia’s decision, Germany will continue to resolutely promote the maintenance and modernisation of both conventional and nuclear arms control in and for Europe – an objective that is in our common interest if we want to face up to the challenges of our time with regard to preserving peace and security.