On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the announcement that his country was leaving the New START nuclear arms reduction and limitation agreement with the United States.
Just one day after President Biden paid an unexpected visit to Ukraine, Putin made the statement in his yearly address to the country.
“In this regard, I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin painted Russia and Ukraine as the victims of Western deceit in his long-delayed state-of-the-nation speech. He said that Russia, not Ukraine, was vying for survival.
The address recited a laundry list of complaints that the Russian leader has regularly cited as justification for the internationally denounced conflict and disregarded international calls to withdraw from Ukrainian territory that has been taken.
According to figures published by the Arms Control Association, Washington and Moscow have a combined total of more than 13,000 warheads, making up about 90% of the global nuclear arsenal. This means that both countries are capable of deploying many more nuclear weapons than the permitted number.
The UN has advocated for nuclear disarmament after the nuclear arms race, which essentially came to an end with the fall of the Soviet Union, and worldwide warhead inventories have decreased since reaching their peak in 1985, when more than 70,000 warheads were thought to be in global stockpiles.
Three days prior to the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin made his address.
Despite Western sanctions and combat defeats, Russia has continued to invade Ukraine throughout the past year. Several other nations, the most of which are in the West, have backed Ukraine’s defense.
Officials from Ukraine have stated that they anticipate Russia will step up its attack in response to Moscow’s commemoration of the war’s anniversary on February 24.
At a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday at Mariinsky Palace, Biden announced an additional $500 million in American aid. The US has already provided Ukraine with financial help and military hardware totaling tens of billions of dollars.