Russia Announces Suspension of Nuclear Arms Treaty

On February 21, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of the nuclear treaty between Russia and the United States. 

During his annual address to Russian citizens, Putin announced that Russia will be suspending its end of the New START Treaty.

“I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty,” Put proclaimed.

Anti-war journalist Michael Tracey tweeted the following: 

Putin just announced the suspension of New START, the only remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia. For the first time in decades, there are no limits on either country’s arsenal. Sure to be declared another great diplomatic triumph for the Biden Admin.

Originally, Russia signed the New START treaty with the US on April 8, 2010 and went into effect on February 5, 2011. This treaty imposed limits on the two countries’ nuclear arsenals. 

According to OANN, the following limits were imposed by the New START treaty: 

The limits set in the New START treaty were 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

In addition, the treaty allows both countries to inspect each other’s nuclear stockpiles. However, these inspections have ceased since the Wuhan virus pandemic kicked off in 2020. Reportedly, Russia has not let US officials carry out inspections of its arsenal since then. 

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United Nations has done everything possible to stop the nuclear arms race that the Cold War kicked off.  In 1985, the global stockpile of nuclear warheads was roughly 70,000 warheads. Currently, that figure has plummeted to slightly below 14,000. 

The US and Russia account for north of 90% of that arsenal owing to how they have a total of 13,000 warheads in their stockpiles. 

The new START treaty was suspended the day following President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Kiev where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

During his national address, Putin declared that Russia and Ukraine are both “victims” of the Collective West’s “double-dealing.” He also proclaimed that Russia, not Ukraine, was engaging in an existential struggle. He also blamed the US for ramping up tensions in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Putin’s decision to suspend the START treaty as “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible.”

“We’ll be watching carefully to see what Russia actually does, we’ll of course make sure that in any event that we are posturing appropriately for the security of our own country and that of our allies,” Blinken added. “I think it matters that we continue to act responsibly in this area, it’s also something the rest of the world expect of us.”

There’s a clear breakdown in diplomatic relations between the two nuclear powers, which does not augur well for world peace. Given the US’s commitment to continue arming Ukraine and using it as a proxy against Russia, there’s a very real possibility of the US potentially sleepwalking into a nuclear conflict. Those are the many dangers of interventionism, where even the simplest of missteps could lead to total disaster. 

The US should do everything possible to use diplomacy to end the Russo-Ukrainian conflict and relax its relations with Russia — a country that poses no threat to it.

Our Latest Articles