(UnitedVoice.com) – When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, US lawmakers joined together in condemning the unprovoked conflict. Since then, Congress has sent billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine to help it defend itself. To say it has angered Russian President Vladimir Putin would be an understatement. Now, the authoritarian leader has suspended the last nuclear agreement it had with America.
On February 21, Putin gave his annual state of the nation speech to lawmakers in Moscow. The address came just days before the one-year anniversary of the war. He announced he is suspending his participation in the New START Treaty.
In 2010, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and then-POTUS Barack Obama signed the agreement at a meeting in Prague, Czech Republic. The following year it went into force, and in 2021, President Joe Biden extended it for five more years. The agreement limits the number of nuclear warheads the US and Russia are allowed to deploy to 1,550 and the number of long-range missiles and bombers to 700.
During Putin’s address, he blamed “the West and the Ukrainian elite and government” for the war. He claimed the outside countries are using Ukraine “as a military base to fight Russia.” Putin said the Ukrainian government isn’t serving its people but is serving the outside nations.
The Russian leader went on to say the nations that are providing Ukraine with aid want to turn the war into a global conflict. Putin vowed to do something about it because the existence of the country is at risk. Reuters reported US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the decision by Putin to suspend his country’s participation in the New START treaty “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible.”
After the Russian leader gave the speech on Tuesday, the foreign ministry claimed it would continue to abide by the regulations outlined in the treaty.
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