Vladimir Putin suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty, what does it mean?

Feb 23, 2023, 9:30 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2023, 5:48 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended Moscow's participation in the last remaining nuclear arm...

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he gives his annual state of the nation address in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Putin has suspended the Nuclear Arms Treaty with the United State after Presiden Biden made a trip to Ukraine. A Utah State University professor joined KSL at Night to make sense of it all. (Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — President Biden’s recent trip to Ukraine has further strained relations with Russia. As such, Russian President Vladimir Putin has suspended his country’s participation in the last remaining nuclear arms pack.

Utah State University professor Anna Pechenkina joined KSL at Night Thursday with hosts Greg Skordas and Leah Murray to discuss what this means for the United States’ future relationship with Russia, and how other countries may react.

“At this point, Russia has suspended its participation,” Pechenkina said. “They’re no longer expecting to comply with the limits on the strategic nuclear weapons inspections.”

The USU professor says Russia wasn’t even complying previously.

“And the general climate of cooperation between the two major nuclear powers that clearly has deteriorated with the suspension,” Pechenkina said.

Vladimir and nuclear options

Skordas asked, “Is this another way that Russian President Vladimir Putin is saying that the nuclear option is on the table?”

“I don’t think we can interpret is this way,” Pechenkina said. “Probably, I would say that this announcement during the State of the Union was more of a rhetorical device rather than being a true policy change.”

She says it was a pretty clever move by Putin to make.

“This is a pretty cheap threat for them to make,” Pechenkina said. 

She says announcement caught all the headlines. However, Pechenkina points out that nobody expects Russia to start spending a quarter of its gross domestic product on producing additional missiles. 

In summary, Pechenkina said, “I would say this was a successful change of the media narrative. And this was a way for them to escalate against the United States without really paying the cost of escalation.”

Pechenkina says there is incentives for countries such as China to make the war last as long as possible. She says Russia will become more dependent on China as a resource supplier. And the longer the war, goes the more depleted the United States will become.

KSL at Night can be heard most weekdays from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Vladimir Putin suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty, what does it mean?