Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law suspending the country’s participation in New START, a treaty with the United States aimed at reducing strategic offensive arms.
According to the law, the decision to resume Russia’s participation in the agreement can be taken by the head of state. The law comes into force from the date of its official publication. On Tuesday, the document was published on the legal information portal.
Putin announced his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the treaty last week in a State of the Union address. The next day, February 22, the bill was unanimously adopted by the State Duma and approved by the Federation Council.
Justifying his decision, Vladimir Putin argued that “the Western elites do not hide the objective of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia, of ending it once and for all”. “They also want to inspect our defense installations. In the current conditions of today’s confrontation, it looks like some kind of absurdity,” Putin stressed.
US President Joe Biden has called the Russian President’s decision on START a “big mistake”. At that time, Biden was visiting Poland. His comment was made ahead of a meeting in Warsaw with the leaders of NATO’s so-called eastern flank states. Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called Putin’s decision “sad and irresponsible”. According to Blinken, the United States will follow Russia’s actual actions in this area and is always ready to resume arms control negotiations.
START, also known as START-3 or New START, was agreed between the United States and Russia in 2010 and was to be valid until 2025 after extensions. In particular, it establishes the limits of the strategic nuclear arsenals of the two countries, prohibits the countries from deploying strategic nuclear weapons outside their territory, obliges them not to conceal nuclear missiles from reconnaissance equipment and allows inspectors from the other access to nuclear weapons bases.
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