Participation by the US in the Treaty on Open Skies officially ends on Sunday, six months after the administration of US President Donald Trump announced the government's intent to quit the agreement.

US President Donald Trump confirmed the withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty on 21 May, citing what he suggested were violations made by Russia and allegations of lack of compliance. Moscow has consistently denied all accusations.

Many European countries have voiced regret over the Trump move, and expressed hope that the White House will reconsider.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this month that Moscow would ask its partners within the treaty to provide legal guarantees that they would not share flight data with the United States. The United Kingdom, Germany and France have since reiterated their commitment to the treaty.

In July, the head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, Sergei Ryzhkov, said that the United States was facing a 6-7 year technological gap compared to Russia in the sphere of technologies related to the Treaty on Open Skies.

The Treaty on Open Skies allows participants to carry out aerial surveillance as part of a program of scheduled observation flights. Over 30 countries participate in the program, created to boost transparency in military activities.

Russia Seeks to Preserve Open Skies Treaty Following 'Hypocritical' US Withdrawal

Moscow will seek firm guarantees that the states remaining in the Open Skies Treaty will comply with their commitments, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on 22 November, the date when the US participation in the agreement officially ends.

"Over the recent months, Washington has hypocritically said that if the Russian position changed, it could reconsider its decision. In fact, no one [in the US] ever thought of revising anything," the ministry said.

"It was all for show, designed to mislead the governments of European countries and the public, who'd urged Washington to change its mind. As in the case of other arms control treaties, the US deliberately decided to undermine the Open Skies Treaty (we recall that US participation in this agreement was a condition for its entry into force)."

Accordig to the ministry, after leaving the agreement, the US will expect its allies to prevent Russian observation flights over US military facilities in Europe, while at the same time sharing its images of the Russian territory with Washington.

"Of course, this is unacceptable for Russia. We will seek firm guarantees that the states remaining in the Open Skies Treaty will fulfil their obligations, firstly, on ensuring the possibility of observing their entire territory and, secondly, on ensuring that the materials of observation flights are not transferred to third countries that are not participants in the treaty," the ministry added.

If Washington indeed wants the treaty to remain in effect and Russia to remain a member state of the agreement, "then they should, without delay, seriously think about what should be done to allay Russian concerns," the ministry said. 

The US participation in the Open Skies Treaty ends on 22 November, six months after the administration of US President Donald Trump announced that it will withdraw from the agreement, citing Russia's alleged violation of the treaty and non-complience with its terms, something Moscow strongly rejects.