In his planned speech to address the first year of his invasion of Ukraine, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin officially suspended the participation of his nation in the New START treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry postponed a meeting with the U.S. on November 29, 2022, to discuss resuming New START inspections, presumably over tensions concerning the invasion of Ukraine. This speech confirms their intention.
The treaty calls for halving the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers. A new inspection and verification regime will be established, replacing the SORT mechanism. It does not limit the number of operationally inactive nuclear warheads that can be stockpiled, a number in the high thousands.
This official announcement comes one day after President Biden visited Ukraine for the first time and left Russian state-owned media reeling before Putin’s expected address. In Putins speech he also said that returning to New START was “an absurdity”, and that Russia will take into account the nuclear arsenals of the US, France and the UK and will target them. He also said that Russia will not resume nuclear tests alone, but rather only would if the US does, which he claimed they were preparing to do so with the development of a new nuclear weapon.
He also stated that NATO and the US we’re directly involved in airstrikes against Russian airbases.
This speech is ongoing and a full recap will be posted once it is over. He also addressed a wide range of social and economic topics.