Russia not 'leaving' New START 'important', ex-Pentagon advisor says
A retired US Army colonel highlights the importance behind Russia's suspension of New START, instead of withdrawing from it.
The Russian parliament's lower and upper houses have approved a bill to suspend Russia's participation in the New START Treaty, a move revealed by President Vladimir Putin earlier this week during his address to the Federal Assembly.
The fact that Russia has suspended rather than withdrawn from the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is "very important," retired US Army colonel Douglas Macgregor said in a YouTube interview.
“Keep in mind that he’s suspended the treaty. […] The word ‘suspend’ suggests that on some future day, he would be willing to restore it. We should regard that as positive, frankly,” Macgregor said, referring to Putin's decision.
The ex-US army colonel, who served as Pentagon advisor under former President Donald Trump, added that "it's in our interest to restore the treaty at some point and I think he [Putin]'s made that point".
According to Macgregor, “we have enough explosive power between the United States and Russia to destroy the planet; end of discussion.”
In a similar vein, the former Pentagon advisor asserted, without elaborating, that “Russia’s been betrayed by us and he [Putin]’s got a record to prove it.”
Macgregor spoke a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his country's withdrawal from the new START Treaty during his address to the Federal Assembly on February 21. Putin cited Washington's efforts to "inflict a strategic defeat" on Moscow and assist Ukraine, while "absurdly" requesting more nuclear inspections.
In a pledge, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would continue to comply with quantitative restrictions on strategic offensive arms, despite the new START's suspension.
The New START, in effect since February 5, 2011, is the last remaining legally binding agreement between the US and Russia. Under the document, Moscow and Washington have been required to reduce their nuclear arsenal to a total of 700 missiles, 800 launchers, and 1,550 deployed warheads.
The treaty was set to expire last year, but both sides managed to find common ground to approve a prolongation of the accord for five more years without renegotiating any of its terms.
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