Putin Announced Russia’s Suspension of Participation in Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

Putin Announced Russia's Suspension of Participation in Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, but is not withdrawing from it.

“I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). I repeat: Russia is not withdrawing from the treaty, no, it is suspending its participation.

To return to the START, Russia should understand how the total striking arsenal of NATO will be taken into account, said the President.

Putin recalled that in early February NATO demanded that Russia “return to the execution” of the START, including admission to nuclear defense facilities.

“Well, I don’t even know how to call it – this is some kind of theater of the absurd. We know that the West is directly involved in the Kiev regime’s attempts to strike our strategic air bases,” Putin said. – And now they also want to inspect our defense facilities. In the current conditions of today’s confrontation, this sounds like some nonsense,” Putin said.

According to Putin, Washington is thinking of testing nuclear weapons. But then Moscow will conduct them as well, he said.

The START is the only U.S.-Russian nuclear weapons control regime. It expires in 2026.

In his speech, Putin also held Western countries responsible for the war in Ukraine and warned that arms deliveries to Ukraine by the United States and other NATO countries would only exacerbate the conflict.

“They are the ones who started the war. And we will use force to stop it,” Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

“In December 2021, we officially sent NATO drafts of the security guarantee treaty, but on all positions we received a direct refusal. Then it finally became clear – the baton for aggression had been given. The threat was growing every day,” said the Russian President.

The Russian president also criticized Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that Russia would respond to them.

“One thing should be clear to everyone – the more long-range systems arrive in Ukraine, the further we will be forced to push the threat away from our borders,” Putin said.

Nevertheless, the Russian president described the current moment for Russia as difficult.

“I am delivering today’s address at a difficult time, and we all know it well, a crucial time for our country, at a time of cardinal, irreversible changes throughout the world, of major historical events that determine the future of our country and our people,” stressed the Russian head of state.

The president of Russia also expressed his total mistrust in the leadership of Western countries, noting that Western elites have become “a symbol of total, unprincipled lies” and that they allegedly deceive not only Russia but also their own nations.

He did not specify which leaders he was referring to.

Putin noted that the task now is to deploy serial production of new armaments, based on Russian science.

Regarding the economy, Putin argued that Western sanctions against Russia had failed and promised to continue working toward independence from the U.S. dollar.

Putin’s speech followed a historic visit by U.S. President Biden to Kiev, where he reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine and announced a new military aid package worth half a billion dollars.

The package includes critical equipment, artillery ammunition, anti-tank systems and air surveillance radars that will help protect Ukrainians from aerial bombardment.

Biden and other U.S. officials have repeatedly stressed that it was Russia that invaded Ukraine a year ago, and that Russia can end the war by withdrawing its troops.

Biden said his presence in Ukraine demonstrates U.S. support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.

“I think it would be critical to leave no doubt that the U.S. supports Ukraine in its war against brutal aggression,” the White House chief stressed.

The U.S. president said the U.S. and its allies intend to help Ukraine most effectively in its fight for freedom and independence.

Biden said that at the end of the week, the U.S. will announce additional sanctions against companies trying to evade sanctions and support the Russian war machine.

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