Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 21 announced Moscow’s unilateral suspension of its participation in the New START nuclear treaty with the United States.
“As of today, Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty,” Putin said in his speech, delivered almost one year after the launch of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
“We’re not withdrawing from the agreement,” he clarified. “We’re just suspending [our participation in] it.”
The New START treaty, which was first signed in 2010 and came into effect the following year, aims to limit both countries’ sizable nuclear arsenals.
In 2021, shortly after President Joe Biden took office, the treaty was extended by five years.
According to estimates, the United States and Russia account for roughly 90 percent of the world’s existing nuclear warheads.
The U.S. State Department has yet to respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on Putin’s announcement.
Delivered in Moscow before both houses of Russia’s parliament, Putin’s address—which lasted roughly one hour and 45 minutes—also covered a range of issues pertaining to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.