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Britain called Putin’s decision on START defining the next decade

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to end his involvement in the Treaty Reducing Offensive Arms (START) will be crucial for the next decade. This was announced by journalist Andrew Marr on 22 February on British radio station LBC.

Noting that Russia could return to the nuclear arms deal and refuse to increase its nuclear arsenal, he added that the world is “only at the beginning of a decade-long shift in the world balance of power.”

Marr also mentioned that he spoke with the Russian ambassador to the UK, who assured him that under no circumstances would Moscow use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine.

Marr described US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Kiev as provocative.

On February 21, during his address to the Federal Assembly, Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of his participation in the new START agreement. He confirmed that it was a suspension, not a revocation. At the same time, the head of state said that before returning to the START discussion, the state must understand how to take into account the French and British nuclear arsenals.

On the same day, the head of state submitted the relevant bill to the State Duma which was passed on Wednesday. The document was then unanimously approved by the Federation Council.

On February 23, former US Navy officer Scott Ritter said Putin was formalizing with START what had been going on since late November last year. He also stressed that Russia would not resume its participation in the agreement until the US changed its policy. According to Ritter, a new milestone in US-Russia relations will begin when Washington assumes the role of a responsible partner. Otherwise, there would be no talk of gun control.

On April 8, 2010, the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States on Measures to Reduce and Limit Strategic Assault Weapons was signed in Prague. The document supersedes the 1991 START treaty. Once entered into force, it supersedes the 2002 Strategic Offense Reduction Agreement.

Developed jointly on the principle of equal and indivisible security, the START agreement envisages a real, verifiable and irreversible reduction of strategic offensive weapons.

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