Congressmen Cohen and Beyer Urge Trump to Abandon Plan to Liquidate Planes Used in Open Skies Efforts

November 30, 2020
Press Release
Failure to comply with notice requirement for voiding treaty

MEMPHIS – Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Don Beyer (VA-08) today wrote to President Trump and urged him to abandon plans to liquidate the unarmed surveillance airplanes used to assure compliance under the 2002 Treaty on Open Skies. The Trump Administration announced that the U.S. would unilaterally withdraw from the agreement last week. Cohen and Beyer maintain the decision should be made by the next Administration and note that the Trump Administration did not comply with a required 120-day notice to Congress of plans to withdraw from the treaty. 

The letter reads in part: 

“The Open Skies Treaty is an important agreement to try to prevent military confrontation and the U.S. has used these planes to carryout Open Skies flights. Removing them with no plans to buy new planes to replace them will put our country and national security at great risk.   

“It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that these decisions have only one potential beneficiary: Russia as it increases its interference with the nations on its western borders. Blinding our allies to attempted Russian aggression is harmful and dangerous. The decision to keep the OC-135Bs or to scrap them should be left to the next Administration.” 

See the entire letter here