On Monday, Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending the treaty, citing:
the radical change in the environment, a threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US against Russia, and the inability of the US to deliver on the obligation to dispose of excessive weapons plutonium under international treaties, as well as the need to take swift action to defend Russian security.
While the decree issued by Putin is active immediately, it will have to be confirmed by the Russian Parliament. TASS reported yesterday that the issue will be considered by the 14th October.
Responding to the decree, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said “I would like to stress that this is a measure of last resort. We considered the agreement an important step towards nuclear disarmament … Washington introduced large-scale economic and other sanctions against Russia, citing unsubstantiated claims. NATO military infrastructure is expanding, with an increasing number of U.S. troops in proximity to the Russian border. The United States and its allies openly and freely discuss transitioning to a policy of containing their relations with Russia. They even threaten terrorist attacks in Russian cities.”
Lavrov continued, “All these actions taken by Washington are leading to a major shift in strategic stability and are increasingly limiting possibilities for Russian-U.S. cooperation on reducing nuclear arsenals. Our decision is a signal to Washington that it cannot use the language of force, sanctions and ultimatums with Russia, while continuing to selectively cooperate with our country only when it benefits the U.S.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov echoed Lavrov’s frustration in remarks to Sputnik yesterday. “We are now at the stage of a very sharp conceptual disagreement with those who, like the U.S. representative to the United Nations, are trying to moralise without having the slightest justification for that,” he said. “This is a big trauma and a fundamental problem for the American establishment as a whole. They cannot overcome themselves, and also, fortunately, they are not able to subvert the whole world. This is where such a difficult emotional background, which we have to deal with, comes from.”
Russia’s patience with the West, and particularly the United States has been quite incredible to watch. The US has given the appearance over the last year or two of having two foreign policies - one of diplomatic endeavour expressed by John Kerry, and one of insane ranting rhetoric expressed by Ashton Carter, and Obama himself.
Now John Kerry seems to have shed his veneer of friendship and is now openly attacking them as well.
Russia has had enough.