Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has said the country would suspend its participation in New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between his country and America following the visit of United States President, Joe Biden, to Ukraine and Poland. Mr Putin made the defiant statement during a press conference on Tuesday in response to President Biden’s covert visit to Kyiv to mark the one year anniversary of Russian military intervention in the country.
A White House Statement said the secret trip which began with a 10-hour train journey from Poland to Kyiv was intended to show “unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity”. Angered by the visit, Mr Putin said in his speech that Russia will suspend New START, further cutting ties with the West. He called the treaty “theater of the absurd” and that the United States wants to use the treaty as an advantage to inspect Russian military facilities.
“The United States and NATO say directly that their goal is a strategic defeat of Russia,” President Putin said about the New START. He also laid emphasis that “Russia will respond to any challenges, because we are all one country – one big and united people. We are confident in ourselves and confident in our strength. The truth is with us.”
Mr Biden is scheduled to further speak about the war in Ukraine as a fight for democracy during an address in Poland later today. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR) reported that approximately 7,199 civilians, including 438 children, have died since the war began last year while more than 11,000 people have been wounded.