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Putin submits bill to Russian parliament on withdrawing from Open Skies treaty 

President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill to the Russian State Duma on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty.

The Russian authorities began preparations for exiting the treaty in early 2021. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced its decision to withdraw in response to the United States exiting the agreement in November 2020 “under an artificial pretext.” The Russian cabinet approved a proposal to withdraw from the treaty in early May.

The United States withdrew from the Open Skies treaty on the grounds that Russia was in breach of the terms of the agreement. The U.S. State Department accused Russia of banning observation flights over Moscow, Kaliningrad, Chechnya, and near the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Moscow denied the allegations, arguing that Washington hadn’t fulfilled the terms of the treaty. 

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