Russia suspends its participation in Nuclear-Arms Treaty

Putin says if US tests new nuclear weapons, Russia will follow suit

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Russia will suspend its participation in the only remaining arms control treaty with the US.

Addressing the Russian parliament, also known as the Federal Assembly, in the capital Moscow, Putin said the New START treaty was signed in a fundamentally different political reality and no longer reflects the situation.

He said Washington imposed anti-Russia sanctions, which prevented Moscow from holding “unobstructed inspections” in the territory of the US and accordingly, created “obvious unilateral advantages for the American party.”

He added that the data collected by the US military during inspections could be transferred to the Ukrainian army for strikes on Russia’s strategic military facilities.

Putin said by demanding Russia to resume inspections, NATO declared its desire to become a party to the treaty.

“We agree with this, please. Moreover, we believe that such a statement is long overdue. After all, there is more than one nuclear power in NATO, the US, the UK and France also have nuclear arsenals,” he said.

The UK and the US are developing their nuclear capabilities, which are also directed against Russia, he said.

“I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). I repeat — does not withdraw from the contract, exactly suspends its participation,” he said.

Putin said he is aware of the US plans to test new nuclear weapons and instructed the Russian Defense Ministry to prepare to test Russian nukes in response.

“Proactively, we will not test anything, but if the US tests its nuclear weapons, we will do the same in response,” he added.

Signed in 2010 and extended in 2021 for another five years, the treaty aims to control and reduce strategic nuclear forces used by the US and Russia.

‘Watershed moment’

Putin said his address comes “at a difficult, watershed moment” for Russia, a “time of radical, irreversible change in the entire world, of crucial historical events that will determine the future of the country and its people.

For eight years Moscow was doing everything to solve the conflict in Ukraine by peaceful means, but in the meantime, Western countries were biding time to prepare Kyiv for the war with Russia, and now proudly declare their “treachery,” he added.

“Let me reiterate that they were the ones who started this war, while we used force and are using it to stop the war … We are defending human lives and our common home, while the West seeks unlimited power,” he stressed.

“The recent Munich Conference turned into an endless stream of accusations against Russia. One gets the impression that this was done so that everyone would forget what the West has been doing over the past decades.”

Citing US experts, Putin said, “almost 900,000 people were killed during wars unleashed by the US after 2001, and over 38 million became refugees.”

‘Not at war with people of Ukraine’

“We are not at war with the people of Ukraine. I have made that clear many times,” Putin said. “The people of Ukraine have become hostages of the Kiev regime and its Western handlers, who have in fact occupied that country in the political, military and economic sense and have been destroying Ukrainian industry for decades now as they plundered its natural resources.”

The Russian leader put responsibility for the conflict on Western elites and today’s Kyiv authorities, which, according to him, “are serving not national interests, but the interests of third countries.”

“The Western elite make no secret of their goal, which is, I quote, ‘Russia’s strategic defeat.’ However, they too realize it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield and are conducting increasingly aggressive information attacks against us targeting primarily the younger generation,” he said.

In the meantime, Western elites destroy their own people by undermining traditional values, the president argued.

“Millions of people in the West understand that they are being led to a real spiritual catastrophe, the elites, frankly speaking, are simply going crazy, and it seems that this is no longer treatable,” he said.

The West is waging not only a military and informational but also an economic front against Russia, Putin continued.

“The initiators of sanctions punish themselves: they provoked price increases in their own countries, job losses, closure of enterprises, the energy crisis, and they tell their citizens – we hear this – they say that the Russians are to blame for everything,” he said.

He pointed out that the Russian economy and management system turned out to be much stronger than it was believed in the West.

According to Putin, Russia is working with partners on the formation of a stable, secure system of international settlements, independent of both the US dollar and other Western reserve currencies.

He said Moscow will strengthen its defense industry but not at the expense of the economy.

“Today we see the full picture, we understand the structural problems that we need to solve in logistics, technology, finance, and personnel … the point of our work is not to adapt to the current conditions. The strategic task is to bring our economy to new frontiers,” he said.

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