Russia suspended its participation in the New Start nuclear disarmament treaty and Putin prepares new atomic tests

Putin talks with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at a military parade in Moscow’s Red Square (EFE) (SERGEI ILNITSKY SERGEI ILNITSKY /)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday the suspension of his country’s compliance with START III or New START, the last nuclear disarmament treaty still in force between Russia and the US.

I have to announce that Russia suspends its participation in the new START treatyPutin said in his state of the nation address. “No one should be under the illusion that global strategic parity can be violated”.

The pact, signed in 2011 and renewed for five years in 2021 to limit the number of long-range nuclear warheads that can be deployed and the use of missiles capable of carrying atomic weapons, but Moscow has not been complying with allowing routine inspections within its territory.

Putin declared that Russia has not yet fully withdrawn from the treaty, but rather suspends its participation, but called on the military commanders to be prepared to resume nuclear weapons testing if the United States does so first.

The agreement limits the arsenals of the two countries to a maximum of 1,550 warheads deployed on each side, a reduction of almost 30% compared to the previous limit, set in 2002. It also limits the number of launchers and heavy bombers to a maximum than 800, still enough volume to destroy human life on Earth.

In 2020, inspections had to be stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, when the conditions were met again to resume said activity, Russia has refused since August last year to resume such part, due to tensions between the two powers over the war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, overlookes the 'Vostok-2022' military exercises at the Sergeevskyi training ground outside the city of Ussuriysk on the Russian Far East on September 6, 2022. - The Vostok 2022 military exercises, involving several Kremlin-friendly countries including China, takes place from September 1-7 across several training grounds in Russia's Far East and in the waters off it.  Over 50,000 soldiers and more than 5,000 units of military equipment, including 140 aircraft and 60 ships, are involved in the drills.  (Photo by Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

During his long-awaited speech, Putin renewed the accusations against the West on Tuesday, blaming it for the invasion he ordered in Ukraine. “It is they who have started the war. And we are using force to put an end to it,” Putin said. “The responsibility for fueling the Ukrainian conflict, for its escalation, for the number of casualties… lies entirely with Western elites,” he noted.

According to him, the West wants to deal Russia a “strategic defeat” in Ukraine. “They want to end it (Russia) once and for all”said the head of the Kremlin.

In addition, he said that the bloc knows that “it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield”, so it launches “aggressive information attacks” against Russia by “misrepresenting historical facts”, attacking Russian culture, religion and values.

But he gave no sign of easing the conflict. On the contrary, he said that he will continue step by step with the invasion. “To ensure the security of our country, to eliminate the threat posed by the neo-Nazi regime that emerged in Ukraine after the 2014 coup, it was decided to carry out a special military operation. Step by step, carefully and consistently, we will achieve the tasks we face,” Putin said in his state of the nation address to both houses of Parliament.

“I am addressing you at a difficult and key moment for our country, at a time of profound change throughout the world,” Putin told senior Russian officials and political elites.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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