Russian lawmakers vote to abandon overflight treaty

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian parliament’s lower house has voted to withdraw from an international treaty allowing surveillance flights over military facilities following the U.S. departure from the pact. The Russian exit from the Open Skies Treaty is yet to be endorsed by the upper house of parliament and needs to be signed by President Vladimir Putin to take effect. Moscow has signaled its readiness to reverse the withdrawal procedure and stay in the treaty if the U.S. returns to the agreement. The Open Skies Treaty was intended to build trust between Russia and the West by allowing the accord’s more than three dozen signatories to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territories to collect information about military forces and activities. 

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