On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Moscow will halt its involvement in the 2011 nuclear arms control accord with the United States, also known as New START. This treaty is the sole agreement between two major powers that restricts the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. The United States had accused Russia of violating the agreement by not adhering to the agreed-upon limits on the types and quantities of nuclear warheads and delivery systems that each country can possess.
The United States is currently assessing the Russian Federation’s compliance with the New START Treaty, per the annual report the State Department is required to submit to the U.S. Congress. I urge the Russian Federation to fully implement its New START Treaty obligations. pic.twitter.com/lCc4WeklCQ
— U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament (@USAmbCD) January 24, 2023
During a state of the nation address, Putin announced that Russia was halting its involvement in the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, citing U.S. interference with their nuclear installations. In response to this announcement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his disappointment, labeling the move as “unfortunate and irresponsible.” He further emphasized that the United States is prepared to engage in discussions about limiting strategic arms with Russia at any time, notwithstanding other challenges in their relationship.
In addition, Putin cautioned that he may contemplate conducting nuclear tests if the U.S. decides to do so, citing discussions in Washington about such tests. Furthermore, he accused the West of utilizing the “special military operation” in Ukraine as a pretext to annihilate Russia and declared that Moscow would attain its objectives.
The agreement, called New START, was brokered by former President Barack Obama after the expiration of a previous arms control treaty with Russia, called START I. While Russia’s “unprovoked invasion” of Ukraine persists, the Biden administration had aimed to keep the treaty in place. The New START is scheduled to expire on February 4th, 2026.
After Putin’s declaration, a spokesperson for the National Security Council stated that the United States is prepared to pursue essential arms control measures, irrespective of other global events. This statement came following a meeting between Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, during which the US president promised an additional $500 million in aid to Ukraine.
It is clear that Putin’s announcement has caused a stir in the international community and has put the future of New START in question. It remains to be seen how the U.S. will respond to this decision and if they will be able to negotiate a new agreement that limits nuclear weapons arsenals between two great powers.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller