On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the last remaining nuclear treaty with the United States in his country’s version of the “State of the Nation” address. Although he didn’t mention Biden by name, the US president’s visit to Ukraine is part of what Putin views as a NATO and US attempt to destroy Russia and defeat them in Ukraine. Putin has threatened the use of nuclear arms before – from the sanctions to the supplying of arms in the war, he views it all as an attempt to destroy his country. Known as the “new” START treaty, it was implemented under then-president Obama and Medvedev in 2010.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) limited both Russia and the United States to a given number of missiles that could carry nuclear warheads:
- 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 (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit);
- 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
Dumping the treaty
“President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday delivered a warning to the West over Ukraine by suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty, announcing that new strategic systems had been put on combat duty, and threatening to resume nuclear tests.
Nearly a year after ordering an invasion that has triggered the biggest confrontation with the West in six decades, Putin said Russia would achieve its aims and accused the West of trying to destroy it.” Reuters
Putin spoke for an hour and 45 minutes, the speech consisting of primarily Ukraine. He warned that if the US and NATO didn’t back off of supplying arms to Ukraine, it could lead to global war. Of course, that came after Biden promised a half a billion dollars in new aid to Zelenskyy.
“The Western elite does not conceal their goal, which is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. It means to finish us forever and grow a local conflict into global opposition. This is exactly how we understand it all and we will react accordingly, because in this case we are talking about the existence of our country… (Breitbart)
In this situation, Rosatom (Russia’s state nuclear corporation) and the Defense Ministry must ensure readiness for Russian nuclear weapons tests,” Putin said. “We naturally won’t be the first to do it, but if the U.S. conducts tests we will also do it. No one should have dangerous illusions that the global strategic parity could be destroyed.” Vladimir Putin 2-21-2023 (ABC)
Putin suspended the treaty but did not entirely rule out coming back to the table. It is that tiny moment that the West should seize to prevent a horrific global conflict. If China sends arms to help Russia in Ukraine, all bets are off. Are we trying to destroy Russia? Just asking.
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