Moscow, Europe Brief News – Russian President Vladimir Putin declared in a lengthy speech in Moscow that Russia will suspend participation in New START, the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the US.
The announcement after only one day after US President Joe Biden’s visit to Kyiv.
Speaking in his state-of-the-nation address, Putin also said that Russia should stand ready to resume nuclear weapons tests if the US does so, a move that would end a global ban on nuclear weapons tests in place since Cold War times.
Explaining his decision to suspend Russia’s obligations under New START, Putin accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
“They want to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on us and try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time,” he said, declaring his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the treaty. “In this context, I have to declare today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms.”
New START’s official name is The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
The UN says at least 8,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the war began; the true toll is feared to be much higher.