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Helsinki Commission and Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment to Hold Joint Hearing on Open Skies Treaty

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment have announced the following hearing:

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE OPEN SKIES TREATY
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
10:00 a.m.
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2172

Live Webcast: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission

The Trump administration reportedly is considering withdrawing the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, a key arms control agreement that has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades. The treaty underpins security and stability in Europe by providing for unarmed aerial observation flights over its 34 signatories. The treaty allows even small countries greater awareness of military activities around them—more crucial than ever given the Kremlin’s demonstrated willingness to violate established borders.

The principles of military transparency embodied by the treaty flow from the same fundamental commitments that led to the creation of today’s Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Open Skies Consultative Commission, which oversees implementation of the treaty, meets monthly at OSCE headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Witnesses at the hearing, organized jointly with the Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment, will explore the continued contributions of the Open Skies Treaty to the security of the United States, as well as its benefits to U.S. allies and partners. Witnesses also will assess Russia’s partial non-compliance with elements of the treaty and strategies to address this challenge, and evaluate the implications of a possible U.S. withdrawal on security and stability in Europe and Eurasia.

Witnesses scheduled to participate include:

  • Jon Wolfsthal, Director, Nuclear Crisis Group; Senior Advisor, Global Zero; Former Special Assistant to the President for National Security; Former Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the National Security Council
  • Damian Leader, Ph.D., Professor, New York University; former Chief Arms Control Delegate for the United States Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • Amy Woolf, Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy, Congressional Research Services

Witnesses may be added. 

All members of the media wishing to attend the hearing must be accredited through the House Radio-Television Correspondents’ Gallery. For more information on accreditation, please contact the gallery at 202-225-5214.

 

Media contact: 
Name: 
Stacy Hope
Email: 
csce[dot]press[at]mail[dot]house[dot]gov
Phone: 
202.225.1901
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