Russia said Tuesday it will observe curbs imposed by the New START treaty, hours after President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow was suspending participation in the arms pact with the United States.
“Russia intends to adhere to a responsible approach and will continue to strictly comply with the quantitative restrictions on strategic offensive arms stipulated by it (New START) within the life cycle of the treaty,” Russia‘s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The treaty, the last nuclear arms control pact between the world’s two main nuclear powers, had been extended until early 2026.
The foreign ministry said Putin’s decision came following the “destructive actions” of the United States, which it accused of violating the agreement that was first signed in 2010.
The ministry pointed to Washington’s “extreme hostility” and its “overt course of malicious escalation of the conflict in Ukraine”, where Russia is waging a military campaign.
It said Washington, which financially and militarily backs Kyiv, created a “fundamentally different security environment” for Russia.
Among the other listed reasons for the suspension, Moscow said Washington “violated the central provisions” of the treaty.
It said Washington “renamed” strategic offensive weapons so they “no longer to fall under treaty definitions” or “declared them converted without giving the Russian side the chance to reliably verify” the results.
The ministry, however, added that Russia’s decision to suspend the treaty is “reversible” but Washington “must show political will”.
Moscow said in August that it was suspending US inspections of its military sites under New START. It said it was responding to American obstruction of inspections by Russia, a charge denied by Washington.