Almost a year into the invasion into Ukraine, Putin informed legislators near the end of a speech to parliament that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive weaponry accord.
The New START deal was signed in Prague in 2010, went into effect the following year, and was renewed for five years in 2021, just after Joseph Biden became president of the United States.
It limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons that the US and Russia may deploy, as well as the use of bombers and missiles launched from land, sea, or air platforms.
Experts estimate that Russia has nearly 6,000 nuclear warheads, making it the country with the most significant nuclear arsenal globally.
Threats to hide real capabilities
Experts claimed that due to Russia’s action, it would be more challenging to confirm ongoing treaty compliance.
Andrey Baklitskiy of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Studies argues that suspending the treaty does not mean that you are abandoning it, and he also predicts that Russia won’t increase its arsenal beyond what is allowed by the agreement.
But there won’t be as many chances to confirm this.
Putin claimed in his speech that the West was directly involved in Ukrainian strikes on sites for Russian strategic bomber planes located well inside Russian territory without offering any supporting proof.
According to him, it is illogical for NATO to insist that Russia permit inspections of its nuclear bases under the terms of the New START pact.
He still insists that Russia can win
Putin: “We understand this and will respond accordingly because in this instance we’re talking about our nation’s existence.” The US and Europe’s backers of Ukraine seek “to convert a local crisis into a period of global struggle.”
When initial attempts to take Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, failed, Ukrainian forces supported by US and European weaponry supplies repeatedly defeated and killed large numbers of Russian military personnel.
At a security conference in Munich over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pleaded with the US and its allies to expedite the delivery of weapons to help counter a Russian spring offensive and allow his forces to take the initiative in the battle as intense battles of attrition continue in eastern Ukrainian regions with neither side making much progress for months.
A day after Biden made an unexpected trip to Kyiv to emphasize ongoing American support for Ukraine, Putin delivered his speech. Later on Tuesday, the US president is scheduled to deliver an address in Poland.
In advance of the invasion’s first anniversary on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Kyiv on Monday and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
During his visit, Biden committed to giving Ukraine a new $500 million package of US help. The financing covers air surveillance radars, anti-armor equipment, and artillery ammunition.