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President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual national address, suspends participation in New START

Russia suspends participation in the New START treaty, alleges West is using Ukraine as a "battering ram against Russia."

Photo by theglobalpanorama on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian public in a speech lasting almost two hours.

In his speech, Putin made a series of claims about the war in Ukraine and aimed criticism at Western countries.

“The West is using Ukraine as a battering ram against Russia and as a testing range,” he said.

President Putin also declared that Russia would suspend its participation in the New START treaty with the United States. The New START treaty caps the number of nuclear warheads that Russia and the U.S. can deploy.

“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 whether to comply with New START, Russia must understand “what such NATO countries as France and the United Kingdom vie for and how will their strategic arsenals be taken into account.”