By ceasing participation in the New Start Agreement, Russia “increases the risk of escalation”

The agreement, the latest version signed in 2010, limits the number of warships used by Russia and the United States and provides for inspection of military bases.

A new sign of resistance with hints of the Cold War. Russia has decided to stop participating in the new inaugural bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at the end of a lengthy speech to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday (February 21). The Strategic Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty, signed in 2010 with the United States, specifically limits both countries’ arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads and 800 launchers, a nearly 30% reduction compared to the previous limit. 2002.

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“It’s about ICBMs, and it’s a legacy of the Cold War.”, coordinator of the Prevention and Proliferation Program at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) told Franceinfo Heloise Fayette. In early August, theRussia has already announced that it will end US inspections of its military bases, but provided for in the agreement. Vladimir Putin announced that he would no longer accept these inspectors, given that Russians were barred from traveling to the US for visa purposes.The researcher explains. “Washington refused.”

“Collapse of Regulatory System”

Since then, the United States can no longer obtain information about the true status of Russia’s nuclear program. “In January, So in its annual report on the implementation of the New Beginning Agreement, the US State Department offered a more scathing analysis, writing that it cannot certify that Russia has actually honored the agreement., the researcher continues. NATO therefore asked Russia to resume these inspections, and accused Washington of destroying the legal framework of the Moscow agreement. Vladimir Putin’s statements are a logical continuation of this collapse of the arms control system.

A major consequence of the suspension of Russia’s participation in New Beginnings is that “There will be no announcements prior to training sessions.”, explains Heloise Fayette. So far, this has been the case with Moscow’s successful launch of the Sarmat missile in April 2022. “So this decision increases the risk of uncontrolled expansion: now, if a missile leaves Russian territory, Washington will no longer know whether it is a drill or not”The researcher explains.

“It is no longer possible to follow Russian exercises with such precision, which raises the level of alarm on both sides.”

Héloise Fayette, researcher at the French Institute of International Relations

At franceinfo

Vladimir Putin also said that the Defense Ministry and the state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom should be ready to conduct nuclear tests if the United States conducts a nuclear test first. The Americans have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), but unlike Russia they have not ratified it”Heloise Fayette explains. “I can’t see the Americans testing nuclear weapons anytime soon, especially since they haven’t done so in decades. But this allows Vladimir Putin to tell his story, associating America with an irresponsible power.”

NATO ‘regrets’ Moscow’s decision

The Russian president, moreover, suggested joining NATO in New Beginnings to make the deal fairer. “Because, within NATO, the US is not the only nuclear power.”. He specifically cited France and the United Kingdom as having nuclear weapons.

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said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance “Sadness” Moscow’s participation in the bilateral agreement was suspended, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken condemned the decision. “Very disappointing and irresponsible”.

Vladimir Putin, finally, accused Washington of involvement in the strike plans Strategic goals. “The return to nuclear rhetoric has faded in recent months”Heloise observes Fayette. “This is not a nuclear threat, but it is a signal of a further deterioration in Russian-American relations, because this is the last ground where the two countries still exchange information.” This suspension, according to her, “At the end of the war will add another file to the negotiations.”

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