In addition, new technologies must be approved unanimously before a party can put them on contract aircraft. This gives the United States a veto over any Russian rearmament that could potentially reveal more information than the United States is willing to share. (In 2018, the United States effectively used this provision to block new Russian cameras for two weeks before finally giving in.) There is little the Europeans can do to convince Russia to stay within the treaty if the United States withdraws from the treaty. However, they could go to Belarus to determine if it wants to stay in the framework. Indeed, while Russia and Belarus were considered an entity (along with Ukraine) in the 1992 treaty, differences in the implementation of the agreement quickly led Belarus to request active and passive independent quotas. Although contact with Belarus would not save the “open skies” treaty as a confidence-building measure for the whole of Europe, it would at least strengthen the country`s sovereignty and give its President Alexander Lukashenko an additional legal argument to block the creation of Russian military bases on Belarusian soil. And in the Balkans, the treaty continues to be used to monitor military maneuvers and installations in several formerly Yugoslav states. Michael Carpenter, Senior Director at the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and former Deputy Minister of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia: “Such concerns require a discussion of the pros and cons of the treaty; they do not justify a unilateral exit from the treaty without proper consultation and consultation with our European allies, who cannot compete with our SRI capabilities and who rely very heavily on the `open skies` treaty for military transparency. In other words, the treaty was put in place to prevent the arms race, and even wars. “If the U.S. abandons this agreement, the result will likely be the collapse of all that remains of conventional arms control in Europe,” says Alexandra Bell, an expert at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
A U.S. withdrawal from the agreement would blame a non-Washington-compliant Moscow, stoke anti-Americanism and perhaps call for a U.S. military withdrawal from Europe. For years, for example, they have restricted flights over Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave on the Polish border; Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. Specifically, in 2014, they announced a 500-kilometer limit for outdoor flights over Kaliningrad and limited several flights to more than 500 km, according to the U.S. State Department. They also denied access to a 10-kilometre corridor over Georgia, Russia`s controversial region, which it says belongs to Russia but is recognized by the international community as Georgia.