After 18 years Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law formalizing Russia’s withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty with USA, after USA withdrew from pact in the year 2020.

  • The Open Skies Treaty is an international treaty that allow countries to collect information on one another’s military forces to increase transparency.
  • The USA withdrew from pact in November 2020 after accusing Russia of violating it.

About the Treaty

The Treaty on Open Skies is a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over entire territory of participating countries. It is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence as it provides the participants, a direct role in gathering information about military forces. This pact entered into force in January 2002. It has 34 participants currently. It also provides mutual accountability for countries to follow treaty promises. It promotes openness and transparency of military forces. More than 1500 flights have taken place under this agreement.

Need of surveillance

The Countries were allowed to openly conduct surveys on each other to prevent misunderstandings and limit escalation of tensions if any.


The Concept of mutual aerial observation was first proposed at Geneva Conference in the year 1955 by USA President Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, Soviets rejected this concept.

Russia formally exits from Open Skies pact Russia formally exits from Open Skies pact