The Trump administration has officially withdrawn from the Open Skies treaty, six months after starting the process to leave.
“On May 22, 2020, the United States exercised its right pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article XV of the Treaty on Open Skies by providing notice to the Treaty Depositaries and to all States Parties of its decision to withdraw from the Treaty, effective six months from the notification date,” State Department deputy spokesman Cale Brown said in a statement.
“Six months having elapsed, the U.S. withdrawal took effect on November 22, 2020, and the United States is no longer a State Party to the Treaty on Open Skies,” Brown added.
The post-Cold War agreement was struck to allow nations to conduct flyovers of other allies in an attempt to collect military data and other intelligence on neighboring foreign enemies.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Trump appointee sparks bipartisan furor for politicizing media agency Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination MORE (D-N.J.) called the administration’s withdrawal “reckless” and encouraged President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign files for new recount in Georgia GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results Judge dismisses Trump camp’s Pennsylvania lawsuit in scathing ruling MORE‘s administration to rejoin the pact once he is inaugurated.
“I strongly believe that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign files for new recount in Georgia GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results FDA grants emergency approval to coronavirus antibody treatment given to Trump MORE‘s decision to withdraw from the Treaty is a violation of domestic law,” the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said. “In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress reaffirmed its support for the Open Skies Treaty and specifically mandated the administration justify a withdrawal four months before any formal notification of withdrawal took place. President Trump brazenly ignored the law and is unilaterally imposing a politically-charged withdrawal, even after losing a presidential election.”
Trump first announced in May he would withdraw from the treaty, with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTibetan political leader makes visit to White House for first time in six decades At least 8 killed, 30 wounded