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On October 7-9, the Open Skies Treaty Review Conference was held in video mode. The Russian interagency delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs S.A. Ryabkov.

Having considered the results of the five-year period since the previous similar event, the participating States emphasized the importance of the OST for strengthening confidence, stability and security in Europe. The need was stated for correct and full implementation of the provisions of this important legally binding instrument, which was noted in the final document of the Conference.

A wide range of issues related to the practical implementation of the Treaty was discussed, attention was drawn to the unresolvedness of some of them. The United States, which is on the verge of withdrawing from the DON, as well as its closest allies and client states, associate this with allegedly “non-fulfillment” of treaty obligations on the part of Russia.

However, the rest of the participating states did not support attacks against Russia and expressed their readiness to work together to eliminate existing mutual concerns.

As for the “stamped” accusations against Russia, well-reasoned answers were repeatedly given to them and our well-founded counter claims were presented. They are set out in detail, in particular, in the document “The Treaty on the Open Skies: Questions and Answers” (https: //

Many participants emphasized the desire to “look to the future” and take into account national technical advances for the purpose of implementing the OST. In this regard, the report of the representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense “New technologies – modernization of observation equipment” aroused great interest. In this area, our country occupies a leading position and sets the tone for other participating states.

In the speech of S.A. Ryabkov on October 7 at the opening of the Conference (https: //vvv.midru/ru/forajn_police/nevs/-/asset_publisher/skNyonkE02Vv/content/id/4373037) noted both successes and problems on the way to the implementation of the Treaty. They emphasized Russia’s openness to dialogue and the search for solutions to existing problems, of course, with the unconditional consideration of our concerns.

The necessity of strict fulfillment of all obligations in terms of non-transfer of data obtained during observation flights to states that are not parties to the Treaty (this problem becomes urgent in connection with the withdrawal of the United States from the OST) was highlighted.

In the final speech of the Director of the DNKV MFA V. I. Ermakov (https: //vvv.midru/forajn_police/nevs/-/asset_publisher/skNyoncE02Vv/content/id/4376971) it was emphasized that Russia needs DON as much as our partners do. The Russian line with regard to the Treaty will be built on the basis of the national interests of our country and its allies, as well as taking into account the constant monitoring of the statements and actions of its other participants.

The discussions that have taken place have confirmed the disposition of the overwhelming majority of the participating States to preserve the OST. At the same time, the Open Skies community expects difficult work in many areas, the results of which will largely depend on the general dynamics of the military-political situation in Europe and the world.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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