MEMORANDUM ON AIR SAFETY “SUSPENDED” ACCORDING TO RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY.
Following Moscow’s condemnation of the U.S. attack of a Syrian airbase yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry has stated it’s suspending a 2015 signed memorandum on air safety in Syria, striking a first major blow in relations between the two countries since Donald Trump took office.
The memorandum, which was aimed at minimizing the risk of inflight incidents among coalition and Russian aircraft operating in Syrian airspace, has been suspended in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that the risk of confrontation between aerial assets of the U.S.-led coalition and Russia has “significantly increased”.
In a statement by the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman on the missile strike carried out by the US Navy against the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, Russia states:
“These actions of the American party are considered as a serious violation of the Memorandum on prevention of incidents and providing security during operations in the air space of Syria signed in 2015.”
When the memorandum was originally signed, Russia’s Ministry of Defence had indicated it “was seeking agreement that is more substantial.” The latest setback places the U.S. relations with Russia back to a similar position as under the Obama administration, as the tone of the statement suggests:
“The US administrations have changed but the methods for unleashing wars have remained the same since bombardments of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. Allegations, falsifications, grandstand playing with photos and test-tubes with pseudo results in international organizations became the reason for aggression initiation instead of an objective investigation.”
The Russian Defence Ministry also made the outlandish claim that:
“It is obvious that the American cruise missile strike had been planned long before this event.”
All this in the context of U.S. President Trump campaigning on better relations with the Kremlin than what existed during the previous administration, including fighting ISIS side-by-side with Russia, which now must be a long way off from happening.