MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday that Moscow was suspending its participation in the New START treaty — the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States — sharply upping the ante amid tensions with Washington over the fighting in Ukraine.
Speaking in his state-of-the-nation address, Putin also said that Russia should stand ready to resume nuclear weapons tests if the U.S. does so, a move that would end a global ban on nuclear weapons tests in place since Cold War times.
Explaining his decision to suspend Russia’s obligations under New START, Putin accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
“They want to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on us and try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time,” he said, declaring his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the treaty. “In this context, I have to declare today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms.”
New START’s official name is The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
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