FILE PHOTO: National flags of Russia and the U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
May 28, 2021
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Friday it regretted Washington's decision not to rejoin the Open Skies arms control pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries.
The original U.S. decision to quit the pact was taken by the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump last year, but Moscow had hoped that Joe Biden would reverse it.
But on Thursday the United States informed Russia it would not rejoin the pact, accusing Russia of violating it, something Moscow denied.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the pact would lose much of its utility without the participation of Russia and the United States.
Russia in January announced its own plans to leave the pact, and the government submitted legislation to parliament this month to formalise its departure.