Russia's President, Vladimir Putin on Saturday announced that while Moscow suspended its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, it was now time to return to talks about the nuclear potential of the UK and France. NATO, led by the United States, had shown that it is a military bloc, rather than a political one, noted Putin, according to the state-affiliated agency Sputnik.
"They [NATO] are not formally a party to this new START treaty; there are two parties to it: Russia and the United States. NATO made a statement on the matter and at the same time it submitted an application for some kind of discussion on the issue. Well, if this is so, we do not mind, let them take part in this discussion," Putin said, in an interview on Saturday.
The US, Russia's ally China, France, and the UK, all have nuclear weapons and permanent seats on the UN Security Council. In his speech made on the anniversary of one year of Ukraine's invasion, Putin announced that he is "suspending Russia's participation" in the New START treaty, the last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between the US and Russia. The treaty was inked between Russia and US in 2011 and would have expired in February 2026.
"After all, at one time we moved not to take them into account, bearing in mind both detente and the fact that NATO declared itself an almost demilitarized organization. They claimed NATO was a political organization rather than a military bloc," said Putin. "But we see what is happening. Therefore, we are simply forced to return to the discussion of this topic from the center of the field," he added.
NATO Alliance's views align with the common goal of defeating Russia, said Putin in an angst-laden tone, adding that Moscow had to take into consideration the "only potential of the US." Putin slammed the West for encouraging the Ukrainian military to strike on Russia's strategic aviation bases with drones, and later “absurdly” calling for more nuclear inspections of Russian nukes stockpiles. Putin asserted that he "cannot imagine" that the US, which leads the NATO military bloc, would inspect Russian nuclear facilities. The Russian President derided NATO and the Western allies for pumping arms into the conflict that has raged for more than a year. NATO, alleged Putin, is an "accomplice in the crimes of the Kyiv regime, which, among other things, is shelling residential areas in Donbass region."
"When they are doing so in Ukraine, I just can't imagine American servicemen hanging out at our nuclear facilities. It's just ridiculous," Putin said in the interview with Russian state affiliated agency.
Putin warned Western countries against trying to break up Russia. "If we follow this path, I think that the fate of many peoples of Russia, and above all, Russian people, can change dramatically. I don’t even know if such an ethnic group as the Russian people can survive in their current form," the President of the Russian Federation noted, adding that such a plan is “written on a piece of paper." Putin pushed for the establishment of a multipolar world and outdoing the Western global hegemony. "And in the end, this position — the fight for a multipolar world, for respect for everyone in the international arena, for taking everyone's interests into account — will prevail, I have no doubt about that," he told the Russian outlet in the interview.