MSOCOW (Sputnik): Putin recently announced that Russia is suspending its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, not withdrawing from it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow has to return to discussing the issue of the nuclear potential of the UK and France, because NATO has shown that it is a military bloc, rather than a political one.
After all, at one time we moved not to take them into account, bearing in mind both détente and the fact that NATO declared itself an almost demilitarized organization. They claimed NATO was a political organization rather than a military bloc. […] 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,” the president said in an interview with Russian media.
According to him, Russia has to take into consideration not only the nuclear potential of the US but that of all other NATO countries since the alliance views Russia’s strategic defeat as its top goal.
On NATO’s Participation in New START Discussions
He also stressed that Russia does not oppose NATO countries’ participation in the discussion on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
“They [NATO] are not formally a party to this 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.
The remarks come after Putin announced during his address to the Federal Assembly on Monday that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START, but that it is not withdrawing from the treaty.
The Russian president cited Washington’s efforts to “inflict a strategic defeat” on Moscow and help Ukraine launch drone attacks against Russia’s strategic deterrent while “absurdly” calling for more nuclear inspections.
Under the New START, Moscow and Washington have been required to reduce their nuclear arsenal to a total of 700 missiles, 800 launchers and 1,550 deployed warheads.
On US Military Inspections of Russian Nuclear Facilities
He also said that he could not imagine the US military inspecting Russian nuclear facilities while it continued to support Kiev.
The President recalled that the NATO countries, albeit indirectly, are accomplices in the crimes of the Kiev regime, which, among other things, is shelling residential areas in Donbass.
“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.
On What Russia Should Do After Its Suspension of Participation in New START
When asked what the US should understand from Russia’s suspension of its participation in the New START treaty, Putin underscored that this is not the point.
“Well, it’s up to them what to understand, and what not to understand, we can’t get into their heads. We understand what we need to do. And we need to preserve our country, as well as ensure security and strategic stability,” the Russian president stated.
On the West’s Plan to Break Up Russia
Separately, Putin warned that if the West’s plan to break up Russia is implemented, the Russian people would most likely cease to exist as an ethnos.
“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,” he said, adding that the Western plan is “written on a piece of paper.”
During the Federal Assembly speech, Putin pointed out that “the purpose of this West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country.”
Referring to the collapse of the USSR in December 1991, the Russian president said that those in the West “are already directly saying that in 1991 they could split the Soviet Union, and that now the time has come for Russia itself, which should be split into many regions that should be deadly hostile to each other.”
On the Fight for Multipolar World
Additionally, Putin expressed hope that the struggle for a multipolar world, where everyone’s interests in the international arena are respected, would prevail.
“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 — it will prevail, I have no doubt about that,” he said.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly called for a multipolar world with many centers of power that would take into account the interests of all nations, condemning the US policy of global hegemony.