On Friday 22 May 2020, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Sweden issued a joint communiqué regretting the announcement by the United States government of its "intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, although we share its concerns regarding the implementation of the treaty provisions by Russia".
The Open Skies Treaty is a crucial element of the confidence-building framework that has been created over the past decades to increase transparency and security across the Euro-Atlantic area.
The statement continued "We will continue to implement the Open Skies Treaty which has obvious added value for our conventional arms control architecture and our common security. We reaffirm that this treaty remains functional and useful. The withdrawal becomes effective after six months."
And it concluded "On matters relating to the implementation of the treaty, we will continue to dialogue with Russia as previously agreed between NATO Allies and other European partners in order to resolve outstanding issues such as undue restrictions imposed on flights over Kaliningrad. We continue to call on Russia to lift these restrictions and continue our dialogue with all parties."