Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a stark warning Tuesday that he would be suspending his nation’s participation in a nuclear arms treaty, threatening to resume testing of nuclear weapons.
Putin made his speech almost exactly a year after the invasion of Ukraine began, accusing the “elites of the West” of escalating international tensions.
RUSSIA SUSPENDS PARTICIPATION IN NEW START NUCLEAR TREATY WITH US, PUTIN SAYS
“The elites of the West do not hide their purpose. But they also cannot fail to realize that it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield,” Putin said.
The Russian president went on to announce he would be pulling Russia out of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a bilateral agreement signed by former Presidents Obama and Dmitry Medvedev.
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President Biden met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday at the Mariinsky Palace to announce an additional half-billion dollars in US assistance. The US has already supported Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in financial aid and military equipment.
The new aid includes shells for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, air surveillance radars and other aid but does not offer new advanced weaponry.
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Putin claimed in his Tuesday speech that the West was attempting to achieve a “strategic defeat” over Russia and take control of their nuclear capabilities.
“Of course, we will not do this first. But if the United States conducts tests, then we will,” Putin threatened.
He continued, “No one should have dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed. A week ago, I signed a decree on putting new ground-based strategic systems on combat duty. Are they going to stick their nose in there too, or what?”
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Both the US and Russia are capable of deploying far more than the allotted nuclear warheads as Washington and Moscow have a combined total of more than 13,000 warheads – making up roughly 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal, according to data provided by the Arms Control Association .
Fox News’ Landon Mion and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.
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