Russia’s lower house votes to suspend New START

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, has unanimously adopted a bill that will suspend Russia’s participation in New START, the last remaining nuclear arms reduction treaty signed between Moscow and Washington.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the move on 21 February when delivering his address to the Russian parliament.

New START, formally known as Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, was signed by then-Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama in Prague on 8 April 2010.

Putin claimed that the US is developing new types of nuclear armaments and contemplating real-life nuclear tests. “If the US carries out a test, we will do so as well. No one should be under the illusion that the global strategic parity can be eliminated,” the Russian leader said.

Putin then signed a decree to nullify the previous document entitled “On measures to implement Russia’s foreign policy”. It states that Moscow “attaches great importance to the implementation of the treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms”.

Putin’s address to the Russian parliament was held in Moscow on 21 February. The president cancelled the event in 2022 despite the fact that the Russian constitution stipulates that presidents are required to deliver it annually. Rumours suggested that the decision was linked to Russia’s military failures in Ukraine.

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