SVE NEWS & FRANCE24.COM Sharing Series — Live: Putin says Russia suspending participation in key nuclear arms treaty

President Vladimir Putin addresses the Russian parliament on February 21, 2023.President Vladimir Putin addresses the Russian parliament on February 21, 2023. © France 24 screengrab

President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Moscow would suspend its participation in the last remaining arms control treaty between the world’s two main nuclear powers, Russia and the United States. Follow FRANCE 24’s liveblog for all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

12:02pm: Putin says Russia suspending participation in nuclear treaty

President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday Moscow‘s suspension of its participation in New START, the last remaining arms control treaty between the world’s two main nuclear powers, Russia and the US.

“I have to announce that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START treaty,” Putin said in his state of the nation address. “No one should be under the illusion that global strategic parity can be violated.”

11:35am: Ukrainian ‘sense of achievement’ ahead of invasion anniversary

The approaching one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion on February 24 is “pretty significant” for the Ukrainian people, FRANCE 24 Chief Foreign Editor Robert Parsons reported from Zaporizhzhia.

“People feel, I think, a sense of achievement first of all, that after one year, they’re […] not just standing up to Russia but pushing them back right across the front. There’s a growing belief that they can win victory; there’s growing trust in the competence of the Ukrainian forces.”

11:17am: US slams ‘absurdity’ of Putin’s anti-West speech

A top US official on Tuesday described President Vladimir Putin‘s accusations that Russia had been threatened by the West as justification for invading Ukraine as “absurdity.”

“Nobody is attacking Russia. There’s a kind of absurdity in the notion that Russia was under some form of military threat from Ukraine or anyone else,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters.

10:35am: More than 8,000 civilians killed since Russia invaded Ukraine, UN says

More than 8,000 civilians have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, the UN Human Rights Office said on Tuesday.

The new toll represents a significant upward revision from the previous tally of 7,199 killed since the start of the full-scale invasion on February 24, the UN report said. Around 90 percent of the victims were killed by explosive weapons, it added.

The UN human rights mission in Ukraine, which has dozens of monitors in the country, said it expects the real toll to be “considerably higher” than the official tally since corroboration work is ongoing.

10:25am: Putin vows to press offensive in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday vowed to “systematically” press on with Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, as he gave his state of the nation address.

“Step by step, we will carefully and systematically solve the aims that face us,” Putin said ahead of the first anniversary of the military intervention.

10:22am: Putin says West seeks global confrontation with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Western countries sought to turn the Ukraine conflict into a global confrontation with Russia, and that Russia’s existence was at stake.

“They intend to translate the local conflict into a global confrontation, we understand it this way and will react accordingly,” Putin told lawmakers.

8:27am: Italy’s Meloni heads to Kyiv for talks with Zelensky

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was heading to Kyiv on Tuesday for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, local media reported.

Meloni, who took office in October, has repeatedly expressed a desire to visit Ukraine to demonstrate her government’s support following Russia’s invasion almost exactly one year ago.

NATO member Italy has provided cash and weapons to help Ukraine, and earlier this month agreed to send mobile surface-to-air missile systems that it has jointly developed with France.

“Ukraine can certainly count on Italy because we have shown since the start… that we were here (for Kyiv) and we will continue to be here,” Meloni said at a press conference in Warsaw on Monday.

7:36am: Putin going to ‘come out boxing’ in speech

In a state-of-the-nation address expected to focus on the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is “clearly going to come out boxing”, said FRANCE 24’s Nick Holdsworth.

“He’s clearly not very happy about Biden’s visit to Kyiv. And they’re really building this speech up. I was looking at Russian state TV headlines just now, and they’ve got a countdown going on. On the main evening news last night, the lead item was a reporter wandering around the venue where Putin is going to speak at noon Moscow time today.”

7am: Biden, after trip to Ukraine, in Poland to meet NATO allies

United States President Joe Biden, fresh from a visit to Kyiv, is expected to tell US allies on Tuesday that the US is totally behind Ukraine on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, and stress American support for NATO’s eastern flank.

Biden arrived in Warsaw late on Monday after a surprise visit to Kyiv, where he stood together with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is seeking more weaponry as he gears up for a spring offensive against the Russians.

Biden will meet Polish President Andrzej Duda to discuss collective efforts to support Ukraine and thank Poland for helping the United States and other countries facilitate deliveries of military and humanitarian assistance.

6:43am: Russian court hands down first sabotage verdict since start or Ukraine war

Russian court sentenced two defendants to three and a half years in a prison colony for plotting to sabotage the railway in a region bordering Ukraine, the first convictions for sabotage since Russia’s invasion, media reported on Tuesday.

“According to the criminal intent, such actions would have led to derailment, damage to military and railway equipment, casualties among servicemen,” Russia’s state-run TASS news agency cited an unidentified source at the court in the Belgorod region as saying.

Their convictions were the first based on the “Sabotage” Article 231 of the Russian Criminal Code since the start of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, the news agency said.

6:41am: China says it’s seeking role in Ukraine peace settlement

The foreign minister of China, which has provided strong political backing for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, said Tuesday his country wants to play a role in ending the conflict.

Qin Gang told participants at a security conference in Beijing that China was concerned the almost year-long war could escalate further and spin “out of control”.

China would continue to urge peace talks and provide “Chinese wisdom” to bring about a political settlement, he said.

6:33am: Biden, Putin to give rival speeches ahead of invasion anniversary

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are set to give duelling speeches on Tuesday that promise two starkly differing takes on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a day after the US president’s surprise visit to Kyiv.

Biden met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, pledging fresh arms deliveries and “unwavering” American support, days before the first anniversary of Russian tanks rolling over the border.

“One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands,” he said at the Mariinsky Palace, the Ukrainian president’s official residence.

5:10am: China says certain countries must stop ‘fuelling the fire’ in Ukraine conflict

China is “deeply worried” that the Ukraine conflict could spiral out of control, China’s foreign minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday, and called on certain countries to stop “fuelling the fire”.

Beijing, which last year struck a “no limits” partnership with Moscow, has refrained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States has warned of consequences if China provides military support to Russia, which Beijing says it is not doing.

“We urge certain countries to immediately stop fuelling the fire,” Qin said during a speech, referring to the Ukraine conflict and in comments that appeared to be directed at the United States.

“We stand firmly against any form of hegemony, against any foreign interference in China’s affairs,” he said.

Qin also warned other countries to “stop hyping up the discourse of Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow”, in an apparent reference to concerns that China is preparing to make good on its threats to use force to assert its claim to sovereignty over Taiwan.

Also on Tuesday, China released a paper on the Global Security Initiative (GSI), President Xi Jinping‘s flagship security proposal which aims to uphold the principle of “indivisible security”, a concept endorsed by Russia.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)


Sources from: FRANCE24.COM

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