February 26. 2024. 5:22

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German FM calls Putin to return to New START Treaty

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to return to the New START Treaty, Russia’s last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the US, which Moscow left last week.

During his annual speech last Tuesday (21 February), Putin announced he was suspending his country’s participation in the new START treaty, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between Russia and the United States that regulates the two countries’ nuclear arsenals and provides for mutual inspections of arms facilities.

“Let us together call on President Putin to return to a fresh start and resume dialogue on the treaty with the United States,” Baerbock said during a Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Monday.

“I firmly believe that this is in the interest of all of us around the world,” she added.

However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry called this suspension “irreversible.”

Baerbock added that, since the start of its invasion in Ukraine one year ago, Russia has been violating basic principles of international law and “undermines the arms control architecture we all depend on.”

Last month, the US also accused Russia of violating the New START Treaty, saying Moscow was refusing to allow inspection activities on its territory. The treaty, which originally came into force in 2011, was extended for five more years in 2021.

The US and Russia together account for about 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.

(Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)