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Washington (CNN) - The government of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, would soon announce his plans to abandon the “Open Skies Treaty”, a US official told CNN, a measure that has already caused the condemnation of the Democrats in Congress.
The decision to abandon the treaty - which was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002 and allows 34 member states to carry out unarmed surveillance flights over the territories of others - could affect the ability of the US Army to conduct aerial surveillance of Russia and other member countries. The treaty is used to help verify arms control agreements, according to the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency. UU., Part of the Department of Defense.
According to the State Department, the treaty “is designed to improve mutual understanding and trust by offering all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in collecting information through aerial images about military forces and activities that interest them. "
This would be the last important international treaty that the Trump administration has abandoned. In August, the United States formally withdrew from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, ending a historic arms control pact that has limited the development of land missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
Analysts fear that these developments may cause a dangerous new arms race with Moscow and CNN has reported that the US Army You are ready to test a new non-nuclear cruise missile launched from a mobile platform, specifically developed to challenge Russia in Europe.
In a statement, a State Department spokesman said they were aware of letters from Democratic lawmakers regarding the treaty.
“We do not comment on the correspondence of the Congress. We continue to implement the treaty and fully comply with our obligations under it, unlike Russia, ”said the spokesman.
The White House and the Pentagon have not responded to CNN's requests for comments on the matter.
Democrats have quickly criticized the impending announcement.
"Withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, an important multilateral arms control agreement, would be another gift from the Trump Administration for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," the senior Democrats wrote in the Foreign Affairs and Services commissions. Armed for the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Commissions in a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“Not only is there no case for withdrawal for reasons of national security, but there have been no consultations with Congress or with our allies about this decision. Any action by this administration to withdraw from critical international treaties without Senate approval is deeply worrying, ”wrote Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York and Rep. Adam Smith from the state of Washington.
The Russian embassy in Washington wrote a tweet on Tuesday expressing its support for the treaty: “We believe that #OpenSkiesTreaty is an important instrument to ensure European security at the same level as the 2011 Vienna document on confidence-building measures and safety".
In 2017, an unarmed aircraft of the Russian Air Force flew over the US Capitol. UU., The Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Andrews Joint Base at low altitude as part of the treaty.
The United States accused Moscow in the past of imposing restrictions on flights near its Kaliningrad enclave, an area between Poland and Lithuania where the Russian Army maintains a strong presence.
Paul LeBlanc, Jennifer Hansler, Jon Ostrower, Peter Morris and Noah Gray contributed to this report.