The decision on the Treaty on the Reduction of Strategic Offensive Arms (START) can be revised if the West realizes the responsibility for the destruction of the global security system. This was announced on Wednesday, February 22, by the head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, the leader of the LDPR party, Leonid Slutsky.
He explained that Russia is not withdrawing from the treaty, but is suspending its participation. According to him, this decision is reversible.
“And it can be revised if our Western opponents come to their senses and realize their responsibility for the destruction of the global security system,” Slutsky told reporters.
In turn, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also pointed to the possibility of revising the decision to suspend the START Treaty.
“There must be a change in the behavioral model of Washington. If we see that common sense is emerging, if we understand that this thoughtless, unconditional, absolutely non-stop campaign to mobilize anti-Russian sentiment wherever possible [прекратится], <...> then, perhaps, there will be a basis for additional analysis, ”he told reporters.
Ryabkov noted that Moscow would closely monitor the further actions of Washington and its allies in the field of arms control, if necessary. At the same time, he stressed that US Ambassador to the Russian Federation Lynn Tracy did not request a meeting with the Russian Foreign Ministry after Moscow’s decision on START.
The day before, during a message to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of participation in the START Treaty. He stressed that this is precisely the suspension, and not the withdrawal from the treaty. At the same time, the head of state said that before returning to the discussion of START, the country must understand how to take into account the nuclear arsenals of France and Great Britain. The Russian leader submitted a relevant law to the State Duma, which was adopted the next day.
On February 22, Ryabkov said that the development of the situation with Russia’s suspension of participation in the START fully depends on the United States. Ryabkov also did not rule out that the United States would withdraw from START after the suspension of Russia’s participation, and recalled that the Americans had withdrawn from treaties before.
The agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States on measures to reduce and limit strategic offensive arms was signed on April 8, 2010 in Prague. The document replaced the 1991 START Treaty. Upon entry into force, it also replaced the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty.
This START agreement was worked out on a parity basis in accordance with the principle of equal and indivisible security and provided for real, verifiable and irreversible reductions in strategic offensive arms.
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