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The United States withdraws from the “Treaty on Open Skies”

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The United States withdraws from the "Treaty on Open Skies"

The United States announced its withdrawal from the “Open Skies Treaty” on November 22, a move that caused fierce criticism from Russia that day. The treaty aims to establish mutual trust after the Cold War, reduce the risk of armed conflict, and allow conditional aerial reconnaissance. The Russian Foreign Ministry responded that the US move was hypocritical and grandstanding.

The United States withdraws from the "Treaty on Open Skies"

The US State Department issued a statement on November 22 stating that since that day, the United States is no longer a signatory to the “Open Skies Treaty.” Half a year has passed since Trump announced his withdrawal from the “Open Skies Treaty” in May this year. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo praised the U.S. move, believing that the U.S. has become safer, and claimed that Russia still has not fulfilled its treaty obligations.

In 1992, 23 countries signed the “Open Skies Treaty” in Helsinki, Finland, and Russia ratified the treaty on May 26, 2001. The original intention of the treaty was to increase mutual trust among member states, reduce the risk of conflict, and help restrict conventional arms. The treaty allows flying over designated areas to conduct legal, transparent, and supervised aerial reconnaissance.

According to a report by RIA Novosti, the Russian President’s Press Secretary Peskov stated that Russia regrets the withdrawal of the “Open Skies Treaty” by the United States, which will invalidate the treaty. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on this, stating that the US move is neither a victory for European security nor a victory for the US and its allies. The withdrawal of the treaty is hypocritical and grandstanding. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that it will require the existing member states of the treaty to make a rigid guarantee that the NATO countries will not transfer surveillance data in Russia to the United States.

Member of the Russian Federation Council (Upper House) Alexei Pushkov stated on social networking sites on the 22nd that Russia will not receive any guarantee that the intelligence obtained by treaty member states will not fall into the hands of the United States. He even wrote directly: “From now on, it is very certain that these reconnaissance materials will be transferred to the US immediately. This is guaranteed.”

He emphasized that no matter how the NATO countries in the treaty swear to fulfill the agreement, it will not change their special relationship with the United States, and it is impossible to trace the transfer of secret data. Pushkov is responsible for public affairs in the Russian Federation Council. Prior to that, he worked for a long time in the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma (House of Commons) and has extensive experience in foreign affairs.

 

The United States withdraws from the "Treaty on Open Skies"

Figure 214ON aircraft used in the “Open Sky Treaty”, source: Tupolev Design Bureau official website

 

State Duma Congressman Alexei Cheba also criticized the US move that day. He believes that the withdrawal of the United States from a series of international treaties is violently shaking the existing international system and threatening world security. He pointed out that it is clear at a glance who is working for the freedom and peace of the earth, and who is only leading their own interests. Cheba graduated from the Moscow Aviation Academy and served as the vice-chairman of the International Affairs Committee in the State Duma.

Due to the raging new crown epidemic, the reconnaissance stipulated by the “Open Skies Treaty” was forced to suspend until July 2020. Russia has so far completed reconnaissance missions to Denmark, Germany, Finland, and other countries. Under supervision, the Russian side spied on the largest US air force base in Europe, the Ramstein base in Germany. Germany, France, and Romania also carried out reconnaissance missions against Russia.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also made an emergency statement that day, saying that he regrets that the United States has withdrawn from the contract, but Germany will continue to implement the contract and its role in the treaty remains unchanged.

Maas pointed out that Germany has always believed that the treaty is an important measure to control weapons, increase mutual trust, and maintain stability in the northern hemisphere from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

RIA Novosti reported that the German federal government will continue to implement the treaty, and the use of Airbus A319 aircraft is a clear indication of its determination.

The United States withdraws from the "Treaty on Open Skies"

According to TASS news agency, from November 23 to 27, French C-130H aircraft will take off from Kubinka Airport on the outskirts of Moscow and continue to carry out the flight missions in Russia in accordance with the treaty. The flight plan was drawn up by Russia in advance, and Russia will send experts on board to supervise its reconnaissance process. According to the treaty, the aircraft itself will not carry any weapons and collect information only on the equipment allowed by Russia on the aircraft.

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United States

U.S. Vice President-elect Harris resigns as a senator in accordance with procedures

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U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris resigned from her position as a senator of Congress, and in two days she will become the first female vice president in American history, as well as the first African and Asian vice president.

According to a report by Fox News on the 18th, Harris wrote in a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom: “In the post of Vice President of the United States, I would like to thank the people of California for the past four years. It is my honor to serve them in the Senate.”

According to reports, Harris’ seat in the Senate will be replaced by California’s current Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Padilla will thus become the first Latino federal senator in California history.

The report pointed out that although Harris will resign from the Senate, she has not completely left the Senate. After taking office as Vice President, she will also automatically serve as the Speaker of the Senate, a title that enables Harris to preside over Senate meetings. The two parties currently occupy 50 seats in the Senate. According to regulations, when the Senate vote is even, Harris, as the Speaker of the Senate, will cast a key vote to break the deadlock. This also means that the Democrats will gain control of the Senate.

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Fauci: The Biden administration is ‘fully feasible’ to vaccinate 100 million Americans within 100 days

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Anthony Fauci, a top US infectious disease expert, said on the 17th that President-elect Biden’s plan to vaccinate 100 million people against the new crown within 100 days of taking office is “completely feasible.”

According to a Reuters report on the 17th, Fauci said in an interview that day that the two new vaccines being developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson may “soon” be submitted to US regulators for approval, which will speed up the pace of vaccination. . “We only need a few weeks, not months.” Fauci said.

Fauci also pointed out that vaccinating more people, requiring people to wear masks, and maintaining social distancing will be the best way for the United States to deal with the more infectious mutated new coronavirus.

While Fauci made the above comments, some people also criticized the current speed of vaccination in the United States. According to reports, the cumulative number of deaths from the new crown in the United States has exceeded 390,000. But so far, about 10.6 million Americans have been vaccinated, only half of the current President Trump’s projected goal by the end of 2020.

Previously, Biden had said that after he took office on the 20th, speeding up vaccination would be one of his top priorities, and Fauci would also serve as the president’s chief medical adviser in the Biden administration.

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The FBI warned that ‘armed protests’ might break out across the United States this weekend, and all regions are on high alert

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued a warning that starting this weekend, “armed protests” may erupt in 50 states and Washington, DC, and local governments and law enforcement agencies are on high alert.

According to a CNN report on the 16th, the FBI stated that they have received relevant warnings. From this weekend to the inauguration of the president on January 20, there may be outbreaks in the capitols of 50 states and the Capitol in Washington, DC. “Armed protest”.

A joint announcement issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and eight other related agencies on January 14 showed that extremists in the United States are most likely to pose a threat to the presidential inauguration, especially those who believe that the new administration is illegal. people. The announcement reminds that US federal public officials, government buildings, and local law enforcement agencies may all be the targets of violent attacks. The FBI has urged local police stations to maintain a high degree of vigilance against extremist activities and share intelligence information on January 13.

According to a Reuters report on the 16th, all parts of the United States are preparing for a new round of violent protests that may break out this weekend. Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC have all deployed National Guards to strengthen security measures. . On Saturday, the streets near the Capitol in Washington, DC were blocked.

The New York Times reported on the 16th that the U.S. Capitol Police arrested a man at a security checkpoint in Washington, DC on the same day. He was holding an unauthorized presidential inauguration certificate and the truck he was driving had an unregistered pistol. And ammunition. A federal law enforcement official stated that the man, Wesley A. Beeler, was a contractor and had nothing to do with extremists. He claimed to have a gun as an “unintentional fault.”

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