MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russia is suspending its participation in New START, a strategic arms reduction treaty with the United States, but is not withdrawing from it, President Vladimir Putin said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday.
"I have to say today that Russia is suspending its participation in New START. I repeat, not withdrawing from the treaty, no, but merely suspending its participation," the president said.
The president stressed that before returning to the discussion on the issue of continuing the work as part of New START, Russia has to understand itself "what do such NATO countries as France and the United Kingdom vie for and how will their strategic arsenals be taken into account." "That is to say the overall strike potential of the alliance," Putin explained. "Now by their statement they have de facto made a bid for this process. Well, thank God. Go ahead, we are not against. But there is no need to again try to lie to all and pretend to be champions of peace and detente."