MOSCOW, February 19. The refusal of Turkey to Russia conduct observation flight under the Treaty on open skies causes concern for the viability of the document. This is stated in the statement of the Russian delegation circulated at an extraordinary meeting in Vienna of the Advisory Commission on open skies. The text posted on the Russian MFA web-site.
The Treaty on open skies. Dossier
“Please note that this unprecedented move Turkey defeats one of the main objectives of the Treaty is to promote greater openness and transparency through confidence building measures, the importance of which, incidentally, like to speculate in NATO, – noted in the delegation. – In addition, the Turkish side violated the main principle of the Treaty, allowing for observation of any point on the entire territory of the observed party, including areas referred to the observed party in official sources as hazardous airspace.”
With the agreement of Ankara “had no right to refuse to carry out observation missions over its territory, so her refusal is indicative of the willingness of the Turkish side to hide some activity, apparently taking place in areas over which it was to fly Russian plane”.
“The closure of air space happened at the request of the Turkish foreign Ministry, which suggests more about the political background of this step, – said in the text. – Also draw the attention of States parties to the fact that it is already far not the first case of breaches of international obligations on the part of official Ankara”.
“We believe that Turkey needs to call the concerns of the community Open sky, and concern for the integrity and viability of the Treaty as an effective means of strengthening confidence and security,” reads the statement.
Defense Ministry: Turkey has created a dangerous precedent by banning Russian observation flight
The Russian side “reserves the right to appropriately respond to the non-observance by Turkey of the provisions of the Treaty on open skies”.
Moscow “expects the response of other States parties to the Treaty, including an objective assessment of the actions of Ankara”. “Her absence would mean only one thing – the presence of “double standards” in approaches to the implementation of the agreement”, – stressed in the Russian delegation.
In the period from 1 to 5 February, the Russian side was planned to carry out observation flight by plane An-30B over the territory of Turkey within the framework of the agreement on open skies.
“The Turkish side agreed to accept Russian observation mission in these terms. However, after the arrival of the mission at the point of entry on the territory of Turkey was rejected by the Russian side presented the plan monitoring, suggesting, in particular, the passage areas of the territory adjacent to the border with Syria, said earlier the Russian foreign Ministry. – Prohibitions or restrictions on the use of airspace in the official sources not published”.
Political divisions of the Russian Federation and Turkey. Dossier