Washington, DC - Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today released the following statement on Russia’s announced suspension of its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START) Treaty: 

“President Putin’s announced suspension of participation in the New START Treaty is beyond reckless and further destabilizes an already perilous security situation caused by Russia’s horrific and illegal invasion of Ukraine. 

“The United States and Russia - even throughout some of the most dangerous periods of the Cold War - have consistently placed limits on nuclear weapons in order to increase transparency and predictability, and decrease the chances of accidental escalation. By suspending its participation in this treaty, Russia is effectively leaving its strategic nuclear arsenal unchecked and unverified by recognized outside experts for the first time in half a century. 

“With this announcement, it is clear that Putin is weaponizing nuclear uncertainty and aiming to use the threat of an unchecked Russian nuclear force to stoke fear and division between the US and our allies and partners. Putin’s attempt to undermine our support for Ukraine, at a time when Russia continues to suffer one loss after another, cannot and must not succeed. 

“Nuclear escalation and instability is in no country’s interest - and it will not help Putin achieve victory in Ukraine. Putin must recognize this and I strongly urge Russia’s return to full compliance with the New START Treaty immediately.”