President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Russia will suspend its participation in the only remaining arms control treaty with the US.
Addressing the Russian parliament, also known as the Federal Assembly, in the capital Moscow, Putin said the New START treaty was signed in a fundamentally different political reality and no longer reflects the situation.
He said Washington imposed anti-Russia sanctions, which prevented Moscow from holding "unobstructed inspections" in the territory of the US and accordingly, created "obvious unilateral advantages for the American party."
He also said the data collected by the US military during inspections could be transferred to the Ukrainian army for strikes on Russia's strategic military facilities.
Besides, Putin said by demanding from Russia to resume inspections, NATO declared its desire to become a party to the treaty.
"We agree with this, please. Moreover, we believe that such a statement is long overdue. After all, there is more than one nuclear power in NATO, the US, the UK and France also have nuclear arsenals," he said.
The UK and the US are developing their nuclear capabilities, which are directed against Russia as well, he said.
"I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). I repeat -- does not withdraw from the contract, exactly suspends its participation," he said.
Putin said he is aware of the US plans to test new nuclear weapons and instructed the Russian Defense Ministry to prepare to test Russian nukes in response.
"Proactively, we will not test anything, but if the US tests its nuclear weapons, we will do the same in response," he said.