Pompeo says Russia used Open-Skies Treaty to find targets for missile attacks

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced its plan to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, citing numerous concerns of Russian non-compliance.

While the U.S. has raised issue with Russia blocking U.S. surveillance flights over its territory, as is provided for in the treaty, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised another particular concern in comments to The Washington Times on Wednesday. Pompeo indicated U.S. concerns that Russia used the surveillance flights permitted in the treaty to gather data on U.S. and allied targets.

“Moscow appears to use Open Skies imagery in support of an aggressive new Russian doctrine of targeting critical infrastructure in the United States and Europe with precision-guided conventional munitions,” Pompeo said.

The Treaty on Open Skies was originally envisioned to allow member countries to fly surveillance flights over each other’s territories so they could monitor military actions and insure against imminent attacks.