May 21, 2020
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty:
“For years, the United States, together with allies and partners, attempted to engage Russia to resolve concerns about its compliance with the Open Skies Treaty. Russia refused to engage and continued to violate the treaty. Because Putin refuses to change course, I support President Trump’s decision to move forward with withdrawal.
“Going forward, it will be critical for the Trump administration to continue working with our allies and partners, especially those in eastern Europe, to ensure they have access to the intelligence they need to protect their security. That includes facilitating access to high-quality imagery.
“I know there is concern among many of America’s friends that there are fewer arms control and confidence-building mechanisms in place today than in the past. That’s because of one person: Vladimir Putin. Russia’s treaty violations do not enhance security or build confidence. They undermine security and confidence. The United States and our allies and partners must remain united in the conviction that the best way to enhance security is for Russia to honor its commitments—and, when they don’t do that, President Trump is right to take action.
“Putin’s Russia must be held accountable for its violations of this treaty, and others. Putin has continually demonstrated that he can’t be trusted to honor Russia’s commitments. As the Trump administration has made clear before: the United States seek arms control agreements that enhance security, and are verifiable and enforceable. I support that goal.”