Russia limits US access to its airbases as relations deteriorate further
Moscow — Russia plans to limit the number of airbases the US can use to launch reconnaissance flights under the Open Skies Treaty, in a fresh sign of its deteriorating relationship with Washington.
The restrictions will be introduced on January 1 in response to US measures to limit Russian military flights in its airspace, said Georgiy Borisenko, head of Russia’s foreign ministry’s North American department, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
The move is a roll-back of an agreement in place since 1992, one of a series of arms-control deals intended to foster trust and transparency as the relationship between the nuclear superpowers thawed at the end of the Cold War.
In June, the US accused Russia of violating the treaty by limiting flights over its Kaliningrad enclave in Europe and later took steps to limit flights over Alaska and Hawaii.
With relations between Washington and Moscow at their lowest point in decades, each side has accused the other of violating agreements, including the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. This month, the US committed to sending defensive weapons to Ukraine, drawing an angry response from Moscow, which the US says supports separatists fighting in two eastern regions.
Amid accusations of the Kremlin meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, Washington is stepping up sanctions on Russia. Last week, as the US added the names of several prominent Russians to its sanctions list, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a plan to issue special bonds to allow wealthy local investors worried about being targeted to bring money back into the country.