The US Trump Administration is considering pulling out of “open skies treaty” with European allies and Russia, according to the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
In a letter sent to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York on Monday said he was “deeply concerned” by reports that the White House was considering withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty.
“I request your personal engagement on this matter to ensure that the United States does not unwisely and rashly withdraw from [the treaty], which continues to serve American national security interests and is particularly important as a check against further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Engel wrote.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed by the US, Russia, and 22 other countries in an effort to promote transparency amongst nations.
Thirty-four countries are now members of the treaty, which was initially signed in 1992.
Under Open Skies, countries that are part of the treaty must notify other nations 72 hours in advance of missions to conduct an observational flight, to which the host country has one day to respond.