President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has announced his country’s intention to suspend a key nuclear treaty with the United States of America.
The nuclear arms reduction agreement, New START, was signed in 2010 by the then President of the US, Barack Obama, and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.
The objective of the agreement was to place a limit on the number of nuclear warheads that could be deployed by both countries. The treaty also calls on both countries to halve the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers held by them.
With the breakdown of relations between Russia and the United States as a result of the former’s invasion of Ukraine, President Putin has announced that Russia will suspend its participation in the treaty, ABC News reports.
The Russian leader however clarified that the country was not completely withdrawing from the agreement, but that Russia must be prepared to resume nuclear weapons tests if the US does the same.
During his state-of-the-union address which aired, Putin slammed Western countries for their indirect participation in the war raging in Ukraine.
According to him, the Western “elites” had ignited the flames of war by “releasing the genie from the bottle” ten years ago and refusing all attempts at reconciliation.
“Western elites aren’t trying to conceal their goals, to inflict a strategic defeat to Russia. They intend to transform the local conflict into a global confrontation.
“It’s they who have started the war. And we are using force to end it,” he said.