Putin Suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty With the U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a February 21 speech that Russia will suspend its nuclear arms control treaty with the United States. New start is the world’s last remaining nuclear control pact. Putin said the U.S. and nato allies, such as Britain and France, aspire to Russia’s defeat in Ukraine. He also said Russia is prepared to test nuclear weapons if the U.S. does so first.

They want to deal us a strategic defeat and are meddling with our nuclear facilities. In this context, I have to declare today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms.
—Vladimir Putin

start stands for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The 2010 agreement limits both countries to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads. It also limits the combined number of delivery systems, such as intercontinental missiles, submarines and bombers, to 800. Under the terms, both countries are supposed to allow short-notice inspections by the other to verify compliance to the deal.

No transparency: In August 2022, Russia suspended the U.S. from inspecting its nuclear arsenal. Then, in November, it canceled a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, in which officials from both countries planned to review compliance with the treaty. Last month, the U.S. State Department reported that Russia had continued to violate the treaty by refusing American inspections of nuclear weapons facilities. In his speech, Putin called efforts to allow U.S. inspections a “theater of absurdity.”

Putin has a reputation for unapologetically violating treaties. He made similar moves right before the demise of the inf Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty made during the Cold War when both the U.S. and Soviet Union were rapidly enlarging their nuclear arsenals. In 2017, he finished creating a land-based cruise missile system (ssc-8) that blatantly violated the inf Treaty, leading the U.S. to suspend its obligations to the treaty after Russia continually denied violating it.

Now that Putin has also stepped out of New start, the nuclear arsenals of America and Russia will be unconstrained for the first time in decades.

Prophesied nuclear war: The U.S. and Russia own approximately 90 percent of all nuclear warheads, believed to be enough to destroy the planet’s human population many times over. In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ prophesied of a coming nuclear war that could wipe out all mankind: “[E]xcept those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (verse 22). In his booklet Nuclear Armageddon is ‘At the Door,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry calls it a “nuclear war so devastating that no flesh would survive if Christ didn’t intervene and stop it.”

The demise of New start is intensifying the nuclear threat and helping push mankind toward a profoundly dark future. But the Bible’s prophecies make clear that there is also radiant hope connected to current trends.