By: Lorenzo Prieto, Daily Caller News Foundation
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to strengthen Russia’s nuclear forces after suspending participation in the landmark New START Treaty with the U.S.
On Thursday, Putin delivered remarks in celebration of the Defender of the Fatherland Day, a holiday that honors the importance of the national army, and promised to focus on bolstering Russia’s defense arsenals and nuclear weaponry. Putin announced the deployment of Sarmat missile launchers, which are capable of carrying multiple warheads, and the production of Kinzhal air-launched missile systems.
“With the Borei-A nuclear-powered submarine Emperor Alexander III becoming operational in the Navy, the share of modern weapons and equipment in the naval strategic nuclear forces will reach 100 percent. In the coming years, three more cruisers from this project will be delivered to the Navy,” Putin said.
The suspension of the nuclear treaty comes after President Joe Biden on Tuesday made remarks in Warsaw on his efforts to protect Ukraine, and criticized Russia for starting the war.
“President Putin chose this war. Every day the war continues is his choice. He could end the war with a word. It’s simple. If Russia stopped invading Ukraine, it would end the war. If Ukraine stopped defending itself against Russia, it would be the end of Ukraine,” Biden said.
Major-General Yevgeny Ilyin, a senior Russian defense official, told the lower house of the Russian Parliament that the armed forces would still adhere to the New START Treaty’s law regarding the number of warheads each country can have, according to NBC News.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who renewed in 2019 along with former President Barack Obama the nuclear treaty of five more years, supports Russia’s position of using the nuclear arsenal if it feels threatened, according to a statement released on his Telegram account.
“If the United States wants to defeat Russia, then we have the right to defend ourselves with any weapon, including nuclear,” Medvedev said.