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Russia blames US for decision to suspend New START treaty

Russian missile air defense systems are seen during the International military-technical forum "Army-2021" at Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in Moscow Region, Russia August 23, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia says it has concluded that the United States has been in violation of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, accusing Washington of being in non-compliance with its provisions and of trying to undermine Russia's national security.

President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday Russia’s suspension of the bilateral nuclear arms control treaty.

"There is every reason to state that US policy is aimed at undermining Russia's national security, which directly contradicts the fundamental principles and understandings enshrined in the preamble of the treaty," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It called on Washington to refrain from actions that would prevent Russia’s return to New START, which was signed in 2010 and extended until 2026.  

Under the treaty, Russia and the US committed to deploying no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads, which accounts for 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads, and a maximum of 700 long-range missiles and bombers.

Russia also said it is not opposed to resuming participation in the New START should the US policy change.

"The decision to suspend participation in New START can be reversed. To do this, Washington must show the political will and make good-faith efforts for general de-escalation," the foreign ministry said.

"We are convinced that the potential of the treaty in terms of its contribution to strengthening international security and strategic stability is far from exhausted,” it added.

The Russian ministry stressed that Moscow will continue to comply with the quantitative restrictions of nuclear arms.

"In order to maintain a sufficient degree of predictability and stability in the sphere of nuclear missiles, Russia intends to adhere to a responsible approach and will continue to strictly observe the quantitative restrictions provided for by the New START treaty within the life cycle of the treaty," the ministry said.

The ministry also said it would continue to notify the United States of planned test launches of inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The Russian president already said his country would be suspending the treaty adding that no one should have dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed.

Putin accused the West of being directly involved in attempts to strike its strategic air bases.

The US had previously accused Russia that it was not in compliance with the New START treaty.



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