The suspension of the last major nuclear disarmament treaty with the United States was not an exit, but a suspension, the Russian leader emphasized in his speech to the Federal Assembly.
After the suspension of the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START), Russia has the right to increase its strategic nuclear forces to the level of the total potential of NATO countries. This was stated to RIA Novosti by the editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine Igor Korotchenko.
The expert noted that if Western countries refuse to accept the Russian position, building up Russia’s nuclear potential becomes imperative.
“If there is no reaction, Russia has every right to increase the numerical and qualitative composition of its strategic nuclear triad to the level of the total potential in the field of strategic offensive weapons of the United States, Great Britain and France,” Korotchenko said.
Washington considering nuclear weapons tests
According to Putin, Washington is considering nuclear weapons tests. If these are carried out, Moscow would also carry out such tests. The Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian atomic energy company Rosatom should be ready if the Biden administration decides to make the first move. “We certainly won’t be the first to do this, but if the US conducts a test, so will we,” he explained.
The treaty limits the nuclear arsenals of both countries to 800 delivery systems and 1 550 operational warheads each. The contract was signed in 2010 by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama for a period of ten years, with the possibility of an extension. It came into force in 2011. In February 2021, Biden and Putin agreed to an extension until 2026.