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Explainer: The New START nuclear treaty, and why Vladimir Putin is walking away from it

ABC News, 22 Feb 23, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Tuesday (local time) that Moscow is suspending its participation in the last remaining US-Russia arms control treaty will have an immediate impact on America’s ability to monitor Russian nuclear activities.

Key points:

  • Vladimir Putin says Russia will suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty
  • The treaty required both the US and Russia to communicate about their nuclear arsenals, allow on-site inspections and adhere to limits on nuclear warheads
  • The US had previously signalled it would withdraw from the treaty under the Trump administration, but signed an extension in 2021

However, the pact was already on life support.

Mr Putin’s decision to suspend Russian cooperation with the treaty’s nuclear warhead and missile inspections follows Moscow’s cancellation late last year of talks that had been intended to salvage an agreement that both sides have accused the other of violating.

In his state of the nation address to the Russian people, Mr Putin said Russia was suspending its participation in the treaty because of US support for Ukraine, and accused the US and its NATO allies of openly working for Russia’s destruction.

The US had previously walked away from the treaty. During the Trump administration, the US declined to engage in negotiations to extend it, accusing Moscow of flagrant violations.

But when President Joe Biden took office in 2021, his administration signed a five-year extension.

Here’s a look at New START, and what Russia’s announcement means for keeping US and Russian nuclear weapons in check………………………………………………………………… more

February 22, 2023 - Posted by | politics international, Russia

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