Putin Suspends Russian Participation In START Arms Reduction Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced he was suspending Russia’s participation in a new major arms control pact with the United States.

The Startegic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, remains the only key nuclear arms control agreement between the two major nuclear powers.

Signed in 2010 by the then U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to prevent nuclear war, the START Treaty restricts the number of strategic nuclear warheads that both sides can deploy, and gives each country the power to inspect the other.

The treaty was extended for five years in 2021.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Russian announcement is “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible”.

“We’ll be watching carefully to see what Russia actually does. We’ll, of course, make sure that in any event we are postured appropriately for the security of our own country and that of our allies,” he told reporters.

In his State of the Nation address delivered three days ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of its neighboring country, a furious Putin said the US and its allies seek “limitless power”.

He blamed the West for provoking the war against Ukraine and escalating it.

Russia is not at war with the Ukrainian nation, while Western countries were “guilty and culpable” for the war, according to him.

Putin said it is “impossible” to beat Russia on the battlefield as the war completes a year on February 24.

He repeated his claim that the annexed Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk became part of Russia because people there voted for it through referendums.

Putin praised farmers in Russia for what he claimed a “record harvest” in the country.

Later on Tuesday, U.S President Joe Biden will speak in the Polish capital Warsaw , which is expected to be a tit-for-tat for Putin, and on Russia’s nearly a year-old invasion of Ukraine.

He earlier met Polish President Andrzej Duda at the Presidential Palace.

On Monday, during his surprise visit to Kyiv, Biden announced the latest tranche of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.

The $450 million security package includes more ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS and Howitzers that Ukraine is using so effectively to defend their country as well as more Javelins, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars.

Source: Read Full Article