Putin accused of violating nuclear arms treaty with US

Footage shows Russian troops near Kherson after ‘death ray’ strike

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Vladimir Putin has been accused of violating a key nuclear arms treaty with the US, which was designed to limit the nuclear capacity of each country. The Russian President has reportedly refused to allow inspection of its facilities, leading to relations deteriorating even further between the West and East.

The New Start Treaty was signed by the US and Russia in 2011 and in 2021 it was extended for five more years.

The aim of the treaty was to cap the amount of strategic nuclear warheads that each country can deploy, as well as the deployment of land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.

Together, Moscow and Washington are still in control of 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads.

Last August the Kremlin stopped co-operating with inspections, blaming travel restrictions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A US state department spokesperson said: “Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control.”

They added there was a “clear path” for Russia to resume allowing inspections and that Washington remained committed to the agreement.

They said: “The New Start treaty remains in the national security interests of the United States.”

Talks between the two governments were due to take place in November in Egypt with a view to resuming co-operation, however Putin postponed them.

He accused the US of “toxicity and animosity”, with no new date being set.

There are fears that once the treaty lapses in 2026 no new agreement will be reached, with deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov telling the RIA state new agency: “This is quite a possible scenario”.

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A top Ukrainian security official told Sky News that Kyiv was preparing for “maximum escalation” from Russia in the next few weeks.

There have been concerns that Moscow is planning to launch a huge new offensive, as the one year anniversary of the invasion approaches.

Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, told Sky News: “We do understand everything is on the table… I can say that we are not excluding any scenario in the next two to three weeks.”

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