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22 Feb, 2023 10:08

Lawmakers approve Putin’s nuclear treaty decision

Russia’s parliament has passed legislation suspending Moscow’s participation in the New START agreement
Lawmakers approve Putin’s nuclear treaty decision

Both houses of the Federal Assembly – the Russian parliament – approved a bill on Wednesday submitted by President Vladimir Putin, by which Moscow will temporarily suspend its participation in the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (New START) – the last existing nuclear accord between Russia and the US.

In an explanatory note attached to the bill, the lawmakers state that the agreement, which was meant to cut in half the number of nuclear weapons deployed around the world, was supposed to allow both parties to carry out inspections in order to ensure compliance. The US, however, “deliberately fails to fulfill its obligations under the treaty in this area of activity,” the note states.

Because of this, and in accordance with federal law, the Russian president has made a proposal to suspend the agreement, the note reads, adding that the decision to resume Russia’s participation in the treaty will also be made by the president.

The document was first adopted by the State Duma – the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament. Several hours later it was also approved by the Federal Council, the upper chamber. The bill will enter into force once signed by the president and published.

The approval comes after Putin announced in his address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday that Moscow would suspend its participation in the New START Treaty, but would not withdraw completely. The president said the document was a legacy of the times when Moscow and Washington did not perceive each other as adversaries.

However, times have changed, Putin said, and the US is now issuing ultimatums to Russia and trying to maintain its hegemony, while NATO openly expresses the desire to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. At the same time, members of the bloc are also making “absurd” demands to inspect Russia’s strategic facilities, while similar requests from Moscow are systematically denied.

“Russia cannot ignore this. We cannot allow ourselves to ignore this,” Vladimir Putin said