Russia should return to Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, says German FM

27 February, 06:40 PM
Annalena Baerbock (Photo:REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

Annalena Baerbock (Photo:REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

Russia’s suspension of its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), an arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia, is irresponsible, the Ukrinform news agency quoted Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock as saying on Feb. 27.

Speaking at the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments in Geneva, Switzerland, Baerbock emphasized that back in January 2022, Russia, together with other members of the P5 Group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council), issued a joint statement on preventing a nuclear war and avoiding an arms race.

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In the statement, the five UN nuclear states point out that a nuclear war cannot be won and can never be unleashed, and express the firm belief that further proliferation of such weapons must be prevented.

“(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin’s announcement is irresponsible,” Baerbock said.

“And it’s just the latest in a series of blows that Russia has inflicted on the architecture of arms control.”

The minister also called on partners to dialogue with Putin.

“Let’s together call on President Putin to return to the START I and the dialogue regarding it with the United States,” Baerbock stressed.

“I absolutely believe we’re all interested in it... At a time when a nuclear state violates the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, negotiating forums such as the Geneva Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments are more important than ever.”

The German minister noted that disarmament and arms control remain a key security component.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced on Feb. 21 that Russia suspended its participation in the START I.

This was the only major nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the U.S.

Russia’s Federation Council voted the relevant bill on Feb. 22.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called such a decision “regrettable and irresponsible,” while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to reconsider their decision.

Russia was also one of the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum, which guaranteed respect for Ukraine’s borders and sovereignty, as well as protection, in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons.

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