Contact: Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353

May 21, 2020


Cotton Statement on Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty


Washington, D.C.  Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement after news reports of the president’s decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty:


“Today the president has taken another positive step to end America’s dependence on dysfunctional and broken treaties. The Open Skies Treaty started life as a good-faith agreement between major powers and died an asset of Russian intelligence. For Mr. Putin, the treaty was just another scheme to snatch a military and surveillance advantage over the U.S. and NATO. Further, the treaty was technically defunct, as outdated and irrelevant as the VHS recorder or cassette deck. I’m particularly heartened that U.S. taxpayers won’t need to pay nearly a quarter-billion dollars in recapitalization money for our OC-135 Open Skies Aircraft fleet. Those funds would be better served strengthening our nuclear deterrent, which is a far more effective guarantee of peace between major powers than obsolete treaties.”




Senator Cotton has long advocated for a withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty:


·      September 12, 2018: Cotton Statement on Dispute over Open Skies


·      October 8, 2019: Cotton Statement on Russia’s Open Skies Treaty Violations


·      October 30, 2019: Cotton Resolution Calls for Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty


·      December 10, 2019: End the Open Skies Treaty – Washington Post Op-Ed by Senator Cotton