Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law officially suspending Russia’s participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the United States.
The law comes into force immediately and the decision to resume Russia’s participation in the treaty is up to the head of state, according to the published law.
In his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Feb. 21, Putin said Russia was suspending its participation in, rather than withdrawing from, the New START treaty. He also pointed out the combined strike potential of NATO as Britain and France also have nuclear arsenals that pose a threat to Russia.
A day later, a bill on the New START treaty suspension was unanimously adopted by Russia’s parliament and then sent to Putin for his final approval.
The New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty in force between the two nuclear superpowers, can be extended by a maximum of five years with the consent of the two countries. Russia and the United States officially extended the treaty by five years on Feb. 3, 2021. ■