Russian President Vladimir Putin, February 3, 2023.
Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law suspending Russia's participation in the New START treaty limiting the number of nuclear weapons. This was reported by the TASS agency today. The agency added that the president can again decide on the possible renewal of participation in the agreement that Russia concluded with the USA in 2010. The law has already been published and has thus become effective.
Putin announced the suspension of Russian participation in the agreement last week in a speech to Russian lawmakers. They then immediately approved the submitted document.
At the same time, Russian diplomacy announced last week that Moscow will continue to observe the limits anchored in the convention, which limit the nuclear arsenals of the two powers to a maximum of 1,550 strategic nuclear weapons and 700 intercontinental missiles or bombers. The Ministry of Defense also stated that it intends to continue to follow the restrictions resulting from the agreement.
The aforementioned agreement was signed in 2010 in Prague by the then presidents of the United States and Russia, Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev. Russia has previously refused to cooperate on nuclear weapons inspections, the terms of which are described in this treaty. The New START agreement is considered to be the last significant Russian-American nuclear arms control treaty. It is due to expire in 2026.
Russia's announcement last week prompted alarmed reactions from Washington and European capitals. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Putin's statement irresponsible on Tuesday. The Russian President's decision was condemned, among others, by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and called on Moscow to return to fulfilling the agreement.