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US: Unclear Russia's New START Suspension Will Have "Practical Impact"


US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price has told reporters that the US, "has not seen any reason to change its nuclear posture" after Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Russia is suspending participation in the New START nuclear treaty.

  • Price continued: "It is unclear if Russia's statement will have any practical impact," likely referring to the fact that Russia was already failing to adhere to New START and, due to sanctions and export controls, may not have access to the tech components required to overhaul its nuclear arsenal in a meaningful way.
  • Although the mutual inspections haven't taken place since the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia suspending participation from the only remaining US-Russia nuclear treaty is a highly significant development and drives a wedge between Washington and Moscow not seen since the 1980s.
  • A collapse of New START may also lead to decline in a long period of positive conventional arms control. NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said that Putin's announcement means “the whole arms control architecture has been dismantled.”
  • It should be noted that New START does not cover tactical nuclear weapons - the type of nuclear weapons most commonly referenced by Putin's nuclear rhetoric.

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