Russia stands firm on leaving nuclear arms control treaty with U.S.

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Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov

3rd June 2023 – (Moscow) Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, stated that Russia’s decision to leave the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty with the United States is “unshakable.” However, he added that Russia could be willing to return to the treaty if Washington changes its policy regarding Russia. The statement was made on Saturday, as reported by the Russian state news agency, Ria Novosti.

Ryabkov’s comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in February that the Kremlin was suspending its participation in the New START Treaty. The agreement, which came into effect in 2011, limits the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear warheads that the U.S. or Russia can deploy.

The US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Friday that Washington was willing to discuss a new nuclear arms control framework “without conditions.” This came a day after the U.S. Department of State announced that it was taking “countermeasures” in response to Russia’s “ongoing violations” of the treaty.

Despite the U.S.’ call for dialogue and countermeasures, Ryabkov made it clear that Russia’s position remains unchanged. “Our decision to suspend the START Treaty is unshakable,” he said. “Our own condition for the return to the full functioning of the treaty is the US abandoning its fundamentally hostile policy towards Russia.”

The U.S. and Russia have been at odds for years on a range of issues, including the situation in Ukraine, allegations of election interference, and human rights abuses. The tense relationship between the two countries has raised concerns about the possibility of a new arms race and a potential global conflict.

Russia’s decision to leave the New START Treaty has been met with disappointment by many in the international community. The treaty was seen as a crucial step towards reducing the risk of nuclear war and increasing stability and peace in the world.

However, Russia’s stance on the matter is unlikely to change anytime soon. The country has long been suspicious of the U.S.’ intentions and has accused Washington of seeking to undermine Russia’s security and sovereignty. Until the U.S. changes its policy towards Russia, it is unlikely that the two countries will be able to reach a new agreement on nuclear arms control.