Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia Suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty With U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia was suspending its participation in the New START treaty with the U.S. that limits the two sides’ strategic nuclear arsenals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (TFP File Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia was suspending its participation in the New START treaty with the U.S. that limits the two sides’ strategic nuclear arsenals.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken later called the decision “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible.”

The treaty puts limits on the number of deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons that both the US and Russia can have. It was last extended in early 2021 for five years, meaning the two sides would soon need to begin negotiating on another arms control agreement, according to CNN.

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Under the key nuclear arms control treaty, both the United States and Russia are permitted to conduct inspections of each other’s weapons sites, though inspections had been halted since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ll be watching carefully to see what Russia actually does, we’ll of course make sure that in any event that we are posturing appropriately for the security of our own country and that of our allies,” said Blinken. “I think it matters that we continue to act responsibly in this area … it’s also something the rest of the world expect of us.”

According to US officials, Russia had already refused on numerous occasions to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities. “Russia is not complying with its obligation under the New START Treaty to facilitate inspection activities on its territory,” a US State Department spokesperson said in January.

“Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control,” the spokesperson said.

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In December, Putin warned of the “increasing” threat of nuclear war, and this month, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, threatened that Russia losing the war could “provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war.”

Biden In Ukraine

US President Joe Biden visited Ukraine Monday prior to meetings in Poland with the Polish president and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the war in Ukraine.

In joint remarks alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Biden announced an additional $500 million in aid to the war-torn country. The aid will include artillery ammunition, Javelin missiles and air surveillance radars.

But the visit caused fury in Russian pro-military and ultranationalist circles, as it upstaged Putin on the eve of his major address.

“Biden in [Kyiv]. Demonstrative humiliation of Russia,” Russian journalist Sergey Mardan wrote in a response on his Telegram channel. “Tales of miraculous hypersonics may be left for children. Just like spells about the holy war we are waging with the entire West.”

“I guess there are lunch breaks in a holy war,” he said.

The United States has sent over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine, and announced they would send Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks in January following a December announcement that a battery of MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missiles would be provided to that country.

Ohio Toxic Train

Republican Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas said Monday that President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine was a “slap in the face” to residents of East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment led to a spill of toxic chemicals.

A train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3, prompting evacuations and shelter-in-place orders as authorities moved to address the release of the chemicals.

“It is an absolute travesty, a slap in the face on Presidents’ Day to this nation,” Hunt told Fox Business guest host David Asman. “And by the way this visit by the president is late. Like the supplies we got to the Ukrainians were late. Like the weapons we should have gotten to them were late. And not only is he not visiting Ohio, but he also is not visiting our southern border right here in Texas and we’ve seen five and a half million people enter this country illegally while on his watch.”

“I’ve not seen him at all,” Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said of Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg during a Wednesday Fox News appearance. “I did get a call from the president. You know, the president said I’ll send you whatever you need.”

Hunt also blasted Biden over the situation on the border. United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) encountered over 2.3 million migrants in Fiscal Year 2022, while another 600,000 migrants evaded CBP that fiscal year, Fox News reported.

“I understand helping allies abroad financially, but you bring up Ohio, what is happening right here domestically, I think a lot of people feel like we as a country are being left out,” Hunt said. “We as a country are not a priority to our commander-in-chief and to this administration. And if we’re spending $113 billion to a country abroad to fight a war what is happening here in Ohio? What is happening here at our own southern border? And again, in my lifetime this is the worst inflation I’ve seen in my lifetime. The worst border crisis I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

Former President Donald Trump said Friday he would visit East Palestine this coming Wednesday.

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