MOSCOW, February 21, 2023 — Today, President Vladimir Putin suspended Russian implementation of New START, the last remaining nuclear treaty between Russia and the United States. Since 2010, New START has limited U.S.-Russian strategic arsenals to 1,550 deployed weapons each. The Treaty has provided both governments with critical insight into each other’s arsenal, preventing dangerous misunderstandings and planning based on worst-case scenarios.
In reaction to the announcement, Derek Johnson, Managing Partner of the Global Zero movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons, issued the following:
“This way lies madness. Putin’s decision to suspend New START heightens the risk of escalation and leaves the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals without binding restraints for the first time in over 50 years. The international community must move quickly to condemn this move and put pressure on Russia to reverse course and ensure full implementation of New START. No government can afford to remain silent.
“Putin has moved the world one step closer to nuclear chaos, but we can influence what comes next. The United States and NATO should do all they can to reduce the danger of nuclear escalation, and remain both calm and coordinated in their collective response to Putin’s reckless announcement. There is no need for the United States to adjust its nuclear posture in response to this political announcement, and any move to do so only plays into Putin’s hands, who wants to stoke the fear of nuclear escalation.”
Global Zero is the international movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It is led by more than 300 eminent world leaders and backed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. For more information, please visit www.globalzero.org.