"None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2019 for research, development, test, and evaluation, Air Force, for arms control implementation, Aircraft Procurement, Air Force, or procurement, Air Force, for digital visual imaging system may be obligated or expended to carry out any activities to modify any United States aircraft for purposes of implementing the Open Skies Treaty until the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees the certification described in paragraph," reads the article 1242 of the Act, Censor.NET reports.
The certification described in this paragraph is a certification of the President that the President has imposed treaty violations responses and legal countermeasures on the Russian Federation for its violations of the Open Skies Treaty and the President has fully informed the appropriate congressional committees of such responses and countermeasures.
A post-Cold War treaty set up to give the United States and Russia the right to fly over and photograph one another’s military facilities was strained by the two nations’ mutual anger.
U.S. and Russian officials both slapped new restrictions on Open Skies Treaty flights.
In late December 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that after Jan. 1, 2018 it would no longer allow the U.S. to launch flights from three designated Open Skies military bases within its borders. That followed a U.S. announcement closing one U.S. base in Georgia and one in South Dakota to overnight stays by Russian crews.
The move is a rollback of an agreement in place since 1992, one of a series of arms-control deals intended to foster trust and transparency as the relationship between the nuclear superpowers thawed at the end of the Cold War.
But it’s also part of a larger conflict that has escalated in recent years, especially since Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Each side has accused the other of violating agreements, including a 1987 nuclear weapons treaty.