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Kremlin says it regrets U.S. decision to not rejoin Open Skies pact - Metro US

Kremlin says it regrets U.S. decision to not rejoin Open Skies pact

National flags of Russia and U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow

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.

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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