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Duma committee supports bill on suspending Russia's participation in New START

The treaty was signed between Russia and the United States and it provides for the reduction of the nuclear arsenals of both countries
Russian State Duma Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian State Duma
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. The Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs on Wednesday recommended to the lower house the adoption of a bill suspending Russia's participation in the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START, New START).

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the document to the State Duma. According to the bill, the New START Treaty will be suspended, and the decision on the resumption of Russia's participation in the treaty will be made by the President of Russia. The law will go into effect on the day of its official publication.

The treaty is an agreement between Russia and the United States which provides for the reduction of the nuclear arsenals of both countries. Putin announced his decision to suspend Russia's participation in New START in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday. The president stressed that Russia was not withdrawing from the treaty, but before discussing the continuation of work under this document, Russia must understand for itself how New START would take into account the arsenals not only of the United States, but also of other NATO nuclear powers: the UK and France.

For its part, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted in its statement that Russia's decision to suspend its participation in New START was reversible and called on Washington "to show political will and make good-faith efforts for general de-escalation and the creation of conditions for the resumption of the full functioning of the treaty". The ministry also said that despite the decision to suspend New START, Russia would continue to comply with its quantitative limits for the duration of the treaty's validity.

In addition, the Russian side will continue to participate in the exchange of notifications with Washington on the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles on the basis of the 1988 agreement between the USSR and the US. The Foreign Ministry also added that Russia intended to closely monitor further actions of the United States and its allies "both in the field of New START and in the field of international security and strategic stability in general, and to analyze them with regard to damage to Russian interests" and the need for additional countermeasures on Moscow's part.