Russia had already announced in early August the suspension of inspections Americans planned at its military installations under the agreement, claiming to act in response to US obstacles to Russian inspections in the United States.
“They want to inflict a strategic defeat on us and attack our nuclear facilities, so I am forced to announce that Russia is suspending its participation in the (New) Start Treaty”declared the Russian president.
Putin called on the Russian authorities to stand “ready for nuclear weapons tests” if Washington conducted them first. “No one should feed on illusions, the strategic parity could be altered,” he stressed.
Putin suggested that NATO join the New Start to achieve a fair treaty, because within the military alliance “the United States is not the only nuclear power.” “France and Great Britain also have nuclear arsenals, they are perfecting, modernizing and targeting us,” he stressed, in statements reproduced by the AFP news agency.
The US response
As a first reaction to the announcement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today called Russia’s decision to suspend the New Start nuclear disarmament treaty “very disappointing and irresponsible” and insisted that his country was still “willing” to talk about it. .
“I regret the decision announced by Russia,” the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, said in tune.
“More nuclear weapons and less arms control make the world more dangerous. It is the reason why we have worked so hard to engage Russia on arms control issues.“, he added.