New Start – Announcement by Russia that it is suspending its participation in the treaty (21 February 2023)


France regrets today’s announcement by President Putin that Russia is suspending its participation in the New Start treaty. It has also noted with concern his call for the Russian Federation to ensure it is prepared to conduct a nuclear test if the United States conducts one.

France recalls that New Start is an essential instrument in the international system of nuclear arms control and strategic stability. Alongside its NATO allies, it has already expressed its concern, on 3 February, about the undermining of the treaty due to Russia’s failure to abide by its obligations. It calls on Russia to show responsibility and reverse its suspension announcement as soon as possible.

France also reiterates the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which Russia has signed and ratified, and, pending its entry into force, of Russia’s compliance with the moratorium on nuclear tests, to which it has subscribed, as have all the nuclear-weapon States.

Finally and more broadly, France calls on Russia to respect the 3 January 2022 statement by P5 heads of State and government on preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms races, to which France remains committed.