Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow is suspending its participation in the latest nuclear non-proliferation treaty in force with the United States (New START). The Russian leader pointed out that this measure does not mean the absolute withdrawal from the program, but that NATO countries will not have access to inspect their arsenal. This decision comes the day after President Joe Biden's visit to Ukraine and his pledge to maintain support for Zelenski.
Putin justified this initiative citing Western aid to Ukraine. During his address to the nation, the Russian president accused the member countries of the Atlantic alliance of collaborating in the Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian air bases where key bombers for the Russian deterrence policy are located, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Russia threatens to conduct nuclear tests
The Russian president directly accused the U.S. for the deterioration in relations that have led the Kremlin to suspend the agreement. "Our relations have degraded and that’s completely and utterly the U.S.’s fault," he said, before warning that "If the U.S. conducts tests, then so will we. Nobody should have any illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed."
During his speech, Putin again accused the Ukrainian "neo-Nazi regime" and Western elites of starting a "war" (the only time he used this word) and that Russia has been forced to use force, "and continue to use it" to stop them. For the Kremlin leader, this is a clear strategy on the part of NATO countries: "using Ukraine both as a battering ram against Russia and as a training ground. One circumstance should be clear to everyone — the more long-range Western systems that come to Ukraine, the further we will be forced to push the threat away from our borders."
Putin accuses the West of starting the war
Precisely today marks one year since the Russian president recognized the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, both under the control of Russian proxies, as sovereign states. From Moscow, Kiev was accused of committing an alleged genocide there and ordered to send troops to the eastern border.
The New Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (START), which had been extended until February 4, 2026, established "verifiable limits" on the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads deployed by countries. However, the US accused Russia of breaching the treaty on several occasions. Other nonproliferation agreements, including the INF Treaty's Intermediate Nuclear Forces Agreement, were cancelled in recent years.