Moscow is suspending its participation in the last remaining nuclear treaty between Russia and the US, President Vladimir Putin has announced. During his key address to the Russian parliament on Tuesday, he noted that Moscow will not exit the New START Treaty, but is temporarily withdrawing.
Explaining the decision, Putin stated that the agreement was initially drawn up under completely different circumstances, when Russia and the US did not perceive each other as adversaries. Now, however, according to the president, not only is the US issuing ultimatums to Russia, but NATO itself has essentially made an application to become part of the treaty as well.
The bloc members are now demanding an inspection of Russia’s strategic facilities, Putin said, noting that Moscow’s requests to inspect Western nuclear facilities under the treaty are systematically denied with only formal explanations for the rejection.
Putin noted that the US has continued to insist on maintaining hegemony, while its NATO partners openly admit that they want to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.
“Russia cannot ignore this. We cannot allow ourselves to ignore this,” he said.
MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill suspending Russia’s participation in the New START treaty to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, its speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters on Tuesday.
“The president has submitted to the State Duma a draft federal law ‘On suspension of the Russian Federation’s participation in the treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms,’” he said.
Volodin also told that the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, will consider the bill on suspension of Russia’s participation in the New START treaty during its session on Wednesday, February 22. “We will review the bill, submitted by the president, during the State Duma plenary session tomorrow, and will make a decision on it right away. Immediately after, it will go to the Federation Council [the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament],” he said.
The draft bill has been submitted to the State Duma’s committees on international affairs and defense.
The treaty between Russia and the US stipulates the reduction of the two countries’ nuclear arsenals. The decision to suspend Moscow’s participation in the document was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address delivered earlier on Tuesday. He stressed that before resuming discussions on further work within the framework of the treaty, Russia would like to clarify how the arsenals of other NATO nuclear powers – Great Britain and France – would be counted in the treaty alongside the US’ nuclear potential.
The Kremlin said later that Moscow had not notified its Washington colleagues about the decision beforehand. The US administration replied that it would closely follow the situation and was ready to discuss limitations of strategic weapons with Russia.
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