Point by point, what changes with the Russian suspension of the nuclear disarmament treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday suspension of your country’s participation in the New START treaty (New Start in English), limiting arsenals of nuclear warheads of Russia and the United States, among other measures.

Here are some key facts from the third version of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which Former US President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed in the Czech Republic in 2010.

Putin specified that “Russia does not abandon, but only suspends” compliance with the treaty that expires in 2026 and announced that “if the US conducts nuclear tests with a new type of strategic weapon, Russia will also carry out tests” of that kind.

After Putin’s announcement, he assured that Russia will continue to respect the limitations imposed on its nuclear arsenal by the New START treaty. “Russia will maintain a responsible approach and continue to strictly adhere, throughout the duration of the treaty, to quantitative limitations on strategic offensive weapons,” the foreign ministry said.

the russian ministry justified the decision to suspend the treaty by the “destructive actions of the United States”, whom he accused of multiple violations of the text signed in 2010, which “endanger its operation.”

According to Moscow, Washington’s “extreme hostility” and its “open commitment to a malicious escalation of the conflict in Ukraine” they created a “fundamentally different security environment” for Russia.

“The United States and the West that it leads try to harm our country at all levels, in all areas and in all regions of the world,” said Russian diplomacy, arguing that the “status quo is no longer possible.”

On the other hand, Russia considers that the arsenal of the three NATO nuclear powers – the United States, France and the United Kingdom – “should be combined and taken into account jointly in the process of limitation and reduction”, while the New START only concerns Moscow and Washington.

Keys to the agreement suspended by Russia

– Entered into force in 2011 and part of push to “restore” US-Russia ties. Despite the fact that both parties have faced criticism in recent years, during the beginning of the government of US President Joe Biden, they technically agreed to extend these commitments until February 2026.

Sets a more ambitious limit than previous agreements: obliges the United States and Russia to have a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads each, which represents a cut of about 30 percent compared to the limit established in 2002, and a maximum of 800 launchers and bombers. These figures are, however, enough to destroy the world.

Provides guarantees regarding inspections and transparencyto the extent that each of the two signatory powers needs to be clear that the other is doing its part.

– The Russian invasion of Ukraine a year ago dealt a heavy blow to the treaty: en August 2022, Russia announced the suspension of US inspections of its military installations.alleging that the United States was hindering visits to its own facilities, which Washington denied, and postponed talks on the treaty.

– The New START it is the last post-Cold War arms control agreement in force between Russia and the United Statesafter in 2019 they broke the historic treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) of 1989, which limited the use of medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear.

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