As tensions with the United States over the conflict in Ukraine rise, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Moscow was suspending its participation in the New START treaty, the final major nuclear arms limitation agreement with the United States.
Putin stated in his state-of-the-nation address that Russia should be prepared to begin nuclear weapons testing if the US did, which would end a global ban on nuclear weapons testing that has been in place since the Cold War.
Putin defended his decision to halt Russia’s New START responsibilities by claiming that the US and its Nato partners had publicly stated their desire to see Moscow defeated in Ukraine. They intend to cause us to suffer a “strategic setback” while also trying to access our nuclear facilities, he claimed.
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While the US has pushed for the start of inspections of Russian nuclear sites as required by the treaty, Putin stated that Nato countries had assisted Ukraine in mounting drone assaults on Russian airbases housing nuclear-capable strategic bombers.
According to Putin, “the drones used for it were outfitted and modernized with Nato’s technical support.” They now want to check over our defense facilities, It sounds absurd under the circumstances of the current conflict.
Putin emphasized that Russia is just temporarily delaying its participation in New START and has not yet completely withdrawn from the agreement.
Each nation is restricted to having no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers under the New START pact, which was signed in 2010 by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama. The contract calls for extensive on-site inspections to ensure compliance.
Russia and the US decided to extend the deal for a further five years just a few days before it was set to expire in February 2021.
Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, Russia and the US have postponed mutual inspections under New START. But, Moscow refused to allow them to resume last October, casting doubt on the viability of the agreement. In accordance with the convention, Russia also put off a scheduled round of consultations indefinitely.