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The Russian deputy minister talks about “new opportunities” after the Kremlin’s withdrawal from the New START arms reduction treaty

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Russia has gained new opportunities to ensure its security after suspending its participation in the New START Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, said the deputy head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Ryabkov, quoted by Reuters. Russia’s suspension of participation in the treaty was previously criticized by the West.

– The current state of relations Russia from the USA, I can describe it in one word: collapse. Relationships are ruined, they are responsible for it United States – said Sergei Ryabkov on Rossiya-24, which publishes propaganda materials.

Responding to the question whether the New START Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is already “dead”, the deputy minister stated that “Russia has only suspended the treaty, which gives it additional opportunities to ensure (Russia’s) security.”

Ryabkov also said that the West should “recognize reality” after Russia’s decision to deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarusnot “provoke Moscow”.

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Jars intercontinental ballistic missile launcherRUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY PRESS/PAP/EPA

Suspension of the New START treaty

The suspension of the treaty – the only remaining arms control treaty between the US and Russia – was announced in February this year by Vladimir Putin. The provisions of the agreement signed in 2009 included, among others: limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550, periodic inspections of arsenals and regular exchanges of information on them.

Inspections were originally suspended for the duration of the pandemic COVID-19but in 2022 Russia refused to resume them, citing “hostile” US policy in response to the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

Read also: Vladimir Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the New START treaty

“Unfortunate and irresponsible”

The decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the New START treaty was criticized by Western countries. “It’s unfortunate and irresponsible,” said the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

“The U.S. will keep a close eye on Russia’s actual actions,” Blinken said. “Of course, we will make sure that we are adequately prepared to ensure the security of our own country and our allies in any case,” he added.

Earlier, in early February, NATO called on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the treaty. The Alliance pointed out that Russia had failed to meet its legally binding obligations under the agreement. Russia’s refusal to convene a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) on the dates set out in the treaty and the lack of support for US inspection activities on its territory from August 2022 were enumerated.

“NATO Allies continue to view effective arms control as an essential contribution to our security goals. The New START Treaty remains in the national security interests of all countries, including NATO members,” the statement said.

Read also: NATO calls on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the Nuclear Weapons Treaty

Nuclear weapons in the worldPAP

Main photo source: EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

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