27 May 2020, 19:33

Russia does not let US fly over South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Today, the South-Ossetian Minister of Foreign Affairs has announced that requests from the USA to allow monitoring flights near the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are unfounded. The Minister of South Ossetia agreed with the refusal of the Russian side.

The Russia's refusal is based on the provisions of the international Treaty on Open Skies, Dmitry Medoev, South-Ossetian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has announced today. "The statement voiced by the Russian Foreign Minister can also be considered as an extra confirmation of the independent status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which must be reckoned regardless of whether the above status is recognized by any state or not. Everything is in accordance with international law," Dmitry Medoev emphasized.

The South-Ossetian Minister has also noted that South Ossetia is not a member of the Treaty on Open Skies, which means that no flights over its territory can be committed.

The Treaty on Open Skies allows its participants to fly over each other's territories to monitor military activities. On May 21, US President Donald Trump announced that the USA quitted the treaty.

On May 26, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that one of the claims voiced by the US side was the Russia's refusal to conduct monitoring flights in a 10-kilometre zone near the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Sergei Lavrov refused to recognize the above fact as a violation of the treaty. "Our position is firmly based on the provisions of the Treaty on Open Skies itself, which provides for refusal to monitor a 10-kilometre zone from borders of states that are not members of the treaty," the TASS quotes the Russian Foreign Minister as saying.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 27, 2020 at 12:50 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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