President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has delivered the State of the Nation address where he spoke at length about Russia’s war against Ukraine
Putin blamed the West for provoking the war and escalating it, saying the US and its allies sought “limitless power.” He called Western intervention over the years a “campaign of terror.”
“I want to repeat it is them who are guilty and culpable for the war, and we are using our force to stop it,” Putin iterated.
Putin also accused the West of taking aim at Russian culture, religion and values because it is aware that “it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield.”
Likewise, Putin disclosed that Western sanctions would have no effect, saying they have not “achieved anything and will not achieve anything.”
Putin spoke about the fact that the “motherland” recognizes those who have died in the war, adding he would set up a special foundation to help those affected by what he called the “special military operation.”
Putin also focused on domestic policy such as education, homes, environmental policy and transport in the address.
Putin Suspends Major Nuclear Arms Treaty With U.S
In the only major announcement, the Russian President declared that he was suspending Russia’s participation in a major arms control agreement with the US named New START treaty.
“I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty.”Vladimir Putin
Putin also stated that Russia needs to be ready to test nuclear weapons if the US does so first.
New Start is the last remaining nuclear arms deal between Russia and the US and it was extended for five years in 2021, although weapons inspections have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Signed in 2010 by two then-presidents – Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev – the treaty was designed to prevent nuclear war. It limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that both sides can deploy, and gives each country the power to inspect the other.
The treaty limits each side to 1,550 long-range nuclear warheads, a lower number than under the previous Start deal.
Between them, the two former Cold War rivals account for almost all of the world’s nuclear weapons. Russia has previously said it wanted to keep the treaty running – despite hostile rhetoric on both sides during the Ukraine war.
Nonetheless, Russia’s Representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, has tweeted to point out that suspending participation in the New Start treaty doesn’t amount to withdrawing from it altogether.
“This does not mean withdrawal; return to the Treaty remains possible under certain circumstances.”Mikhail Ulyanov
While concluding his address, Putin thanked the “thousands of volunteers who turned up at military registration offices to fight alongside the defenders of the Donbas”. He also promises to “respond to any challenges”.
“We all are the same country, one united people. We are confident and assured of our force. The truth is on our side.” Vladimir putin
NATO Chief Urges Russia To Rethink Suspension Of New START Treaty
NATO Chief, Jens Stoltenberg has called on Russia to reconsider its decision to suspend the New START nuclear treaty.
“I’m calling on Russia today to reconsider its decision to suspend participation in the New START agreement,” Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint news conference.
Stoltenberg stated that more “nuclear weapons and fewer arms control make the world more dangerous” and stressed the importance of a rules-based world order.
“I regret today’s decision by Russia to suspend its participation in the New START treaty. Over the last years Russia has violated and walked away from key arms control agreements. With today’s decision on New START the whole arms control architecture has been dismantled.”Jens Stoltenberg
Also, Stoltenberg responded to Putin’s accusation that the West provoked and escalated the war in Ukraine. He said, “Nobody is attacking Russia. Russia is the aggressor.”