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US leaving Open Skies arms treaty a ‘blow’ to European security: Russia

AFP
MOSCOW
Washington’s departure from the Open Skies arms control treaty would be a blow to European security, a Russian deputy foreign minister said on Thursday, after President Donald Trump announced the US will withdraw.
“The withdrawal by the US from this treaty would be not only a blow to the foundation of European security... but to the key security interests of the allies of the US,” Alexander Grushko was quoted as saying by the RIA-Novosti news agency. Trump earlier said he will pull out from the 18-year-old defence pact with Russia and 32 other countries because “Russia did not adhere to the treaty.” Grushko, who is the deputy minister overseeing relations with NATO and the European Union, said Trump was trying to justify the exit from a “fundamental treaty” via “technical issues” that should be resolved within the treaty.
“Nothing prevents continuing the discussions over the technical issues which the US is misrepresenting as violations by Russia,” he said.
The United States has been frustrated that Russia will not permit US flights over areas where Washington believes Moscow is deploying medium-range nuclear weapons that threaten Europe.