Russia and Global Security Risks
Valdai Club to Discuss the Treaty on Open Skies and the United States’ Pullout
Online Discussion
List of speakers

On July 7, at 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (GMT +3), the Valdai Discussion Club will hold an online discussion based on the results of the Conference of signatories to the Treaty on Open Skies, titled “Open Skies Treaty and the United States’ Pullout.”

In May, 2020, Donald Trump announced the intention of the United States to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty (OST). That is, from November 22, the United States will cease to be party to this multilateral agreement that allows the observation aircraft of 34 participating states to conduct inspection flights of each other’s territory in order to build confidence and transparency.

The remaining parties to the agreement are the following OSCE countries: Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Kyrgyzstan has signed but not yet ratified the treaty.

The Americans explain that they decided to withdraw from the OST due to what they allege were violations of the contract by Russia. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Russia uses the information received through the OST to point its weapons at infrastructure facilities in the United States and European NATO members. Russia also had issues regarding America’s caveats to the treaty. The United States restricts Russian observation flights over some of its territories, including the Hawaiian and Aleutian islands, as well as a significant part of Alaska.

On July 6, a conference of signatories to the Treaty on Open Skies is scheduled. Perhaps the other participants in the OST will retain the agreement and continue to implement it. In early June, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that the Russian response to the US withdrawal from the treaty would depend on the outcome of the conference of the parties to the agreement, but Russia is exploring all possible options.

What conclusions should the participating countries draw from the conference? How will the US withdrawal from the treaty affect relations with Russia? Should there be a new agreement acceptable to all global players? Participants of the expert discussion will answer these and other questions.


  • Oleg Bushuev, Head of the Conventional Arms Control Division, Department of Non-Proliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

  • Vadim Kozyulin, Project Director, Asian Security; Project Director, Emerging Technologies and Global Security; 

  • Peter Topychkanov, Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme;

  • Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.


Working languages: Russian, English

For accreditation, you need to fill out the accreditation form on our website, indicate your personal mobile number and have the WhatsApp application installed and attached to that number.

You can ask the speakers a question by sending it before the broadcast or live to [email protected] or via WhatsApp to the number +79037262385. Be sure to include your name and position, as well as the name of the speaker to whom the question is addressed. Questions will be asked during the Q&A session.

A link to the live broadcast of the meeting will be posted on all online platforms used by the Valdai Club, including our websiteTelegramFacebookVkontakteTwitter, and Instagram.