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Russia suspends its participation in the New Start agreement on nuclear disarmament

Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia would suspend its participation in the New Start agreement on nuclear disarmament and threatened to conduct new nuclear tests if the United States did so first.

This treaty, signed in 2010, is the last bilateral agreement of its kind that binds the two powers. In early August, Russia announced the suspension of planned US inspections of its military sites within the framework of the agreement, ensuring action in response to American obstacles to Russian inspections in the United States.

“They want to inflict a strategic defeat on us, attacking our nuclear sites, and that is why I am forced to announce Russia’s suspension of its participation in the (New) Beginning Treaty,” the Russian president declared in a vehemently anti-Western speech. .

He particularly accused the latter of helping Ukraine modernize drones to send them to strategic targets, referring to the recent bombings at the strategic bomber base in Engels, about 500 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

Putin also called on the Russian authorities to “prepare for nuclear weapons tests” if Washington were to carry them out first.

“No one should feed on illusions, the strategic parity can be changed,” he attacked the Russian president.

He further described the fact that NATO demanded Russia implement a new beginning and allow “access to inspections of Russian military nuclear sites” as “theatre of the absurd”.

“Across NATO representatives, we get ultimatums: ‘You, Russia, do everything we agreed on, including New START, and we will do as we see fit,’” the Kremlin master charged.

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And so Mr. Putin suggested that NATO join the New START program to make this treaty fair, “because the United States, within NATO, is not the only nuclear power.”

He said that “France and Great Britain also have nuclear arsenals, they are improving and modernizing them, and they are directed against us.”

Prior to this announcement, the Kremlin accused the United States on February 1 of “destroying the legal framework” of the New Start Treaty, the day after Washington’s accusations of Moscow’s “non-compliance” with its obligations.

Signed in 2010, the agreement caps the two countries’ arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads deployed on either side, which is about a 30% decrease from the previous limit set in 2002.