Russia has “stopped” its participation in the New START nuclear nonproliferation agreement. This is a worrying development given Russia’s losses in the war against Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday that Russia will no longer cooperate according to the terms of the nuclear treaty. This was the last agreement between Moscow and Washington.
Putin said that “our relations had degraded, and that’s entirely the fault of the United States. ”
Putin claimed that the U.S. government was developing nuclear weapons and was looking to restart nuclear testing. This is false.
He said that Russia’s State Nuclear Corporation and Defense Ministry must be ready for Russian nuking weapon tests in this situation. While we won’t be the first to do it, it is possible to destroy global strategic parity.
Additional information from the Associated Press:
The New START treaty, signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. The agreement envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance. Just days before the treaty was due to expire in February 2021, Russia and the United States agreed to extend it for another five years.
In response, Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Putin’s decision as “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible,” and promised the U.S. government would be “watching carefully to see what Russia actually does.”
The alarming announcement comes one day after President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv. His secret trip, in which he declared that “Kyiv stands,” came just days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukraine war has only grown more intense as Russian forces continue to suffer heavy losses in eastern Ukraine.
The New York Times noted that the New START Treaty does not cover either tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons. Putin is reportedly threatening to use them in Ukraine. The Russian government could be increasing its consideration of nuclear options with Tuesday’s announcement.