Russia’s State Duma unanimously passes law suspending participation in New START

Russia’s State Duma unanimously passes law suspending participation in New START
# 22 February 2023 16:50 (UTC +04:00)

Russia’s State Duma (the lower house of parliament) has unanimously passed a law suspending the country’s participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), APA reports citing TASS.

According to the document, which was submitted to the State Duma by President Vladimir Putin, Russia suspends its participation in the treaty and the president will make a decision on its resumption. The law will enter into force on the day of its official publication.

Putin announced in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday that Russia was suspending its participation in the New START treaty but was not withdrawing from it. The head of state emphasized that before resuming discussions of further activities under the treaty, Russia needed to figure it out for itself how the arsenals of NATO’s other nuclear-weapons countries, the UK and France, would be taken into account along with US capacities.

Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky pointed out that Russia had no choice but to suspend its participation, given numerous US violations of the treaty. "The collective West deliberately chose to worsen relations with Russia," he stressed. Slutsky added that "business as usual with the US and the West in general is no longer possible as a matter of principle and in terms of arms control, which is inseparable from geopolitics." State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, in turn, pointed out that the law "will largely contribute to ensuring our country’s security."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier in a statement that Moscow’s decision was reversible, and called on Washington "to show the political will and make good-faith efforts to ensure the resumption of the treaty’s full-fledged operation." In addition, the ministry noted that Russia would continue to comply with the treaty’s quantitative restrictions. Besides, Russia will continue exchanging information with Washington based on the 1988 Russian-US agreement on mutual notifications of ballistic missile launches. The ministry also said that Russia planned to keep a close eye on the further activities of the US and its allies "in the field of strategic arms reduction, as well as in terms of international security and strategic stability in general, assessing them for threats to Russian interests and the need to take additional measures."

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED