(Singapore, Feb 21, 2023)Russia would suspend its participation in the last remaining major nuclear-arms-control treaty between the US and Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

The Treaty, which came into force in 2011 with effectiveness till 2026 and is also known as the New START Treaty, enhances the US national security by placing verifiable limits on all Russian deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin blamed the West for provoking what he calls the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. Picture: Reuters

Putin also said Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine would continue as the diplomatic gap between Moscow and the West widened. Besides, once again, he blamed the West for provoking the invasion which he calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Putin made such remarks during a wide-ranging address to Russia’s federal legislature in Moscow — on the heels of Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv. The latter is scheduled to give a speech later Tuesday in Poland.

“They want to deal us a strategic defeat and are meddling with our nuclear facilities. In this context, I have to declare today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms,” Mr. Putin told the federal assembly.

The US State Department has reportedly concluded that Russia had already violated the New Start treaty to cut long-range nuclear arms by refusing to allow on-site inspections and rebuffing Washington’s requests to discuss its compliance concerns.

The Biden administration had been eager to preserve the New Start Treaty, and had pressed Russia to correct the violations.