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Putin Suspends Nuke Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday he would suspend Russia's participation in the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty in place with the US since 2011. Russian officials later clarified they would still respect current treaty limits on long-range nuclear arsenals.

The New START treaty caps the number of long-range nuclear weapons Russia and the US can deploy (see explainer). It also allows each side to inspect the other's strategic nuclear sites up to 18 times per year at short notice (how it works). Analysts noted the suspension is not technically a withdrawal from the treaty, but it makes compliance more difficult to determine.

Putin also indicated Russia would be ready to restart nuclear weapons tests if the US does, a practice mostly banned since the 1960s. See a history of nuclear weapon proliferation here.

Later Tuesday, US President Joe Biden gave a speech in Poland a day after his surprise visit to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.

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