Duma deputies have unanimously approved a bill to suspend Russia’s participation in the START Treaty, introduced by Putin. The day before, the Russian President announced this in his address to the Federal Assembly.
The State Duma passed a bill suspending Russia’s participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction and Limitation Treaty (START). On Wednesday, February 22, MPs unanimously supported the document, which was introduced on the same day by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking to the Federation Council the day before, Putin said that Moscow was suspending its participation in the START and was ready to test new nuclear weapons, but would do so only if the United States conducts such a test. He stressed that the country was not withdrawing from the treaty, but only suspending its participation. Other nuclear powers are working on the development of new types of nuclear weapons, the Russian president said as justification for the decision. He said Western countries “openly say they want to inflict a strategic defeat on us” and at the same time “they go near our nuclear facilities”,
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-3) is the only major arms control agreement between the US and Russia that is still in force. The treaty, which sought to prevent the expansion of participating countries’ nuclear arsenals, was signed in Prague in 2010 and entered into force in 2011. In 2021, immediately after Joe Biden took office as US President, the treaty was extended for another five years until 5 February 2026. At the end of January 2023, Washington accused Moscow of failing to fulfil its obligations under START-3.