Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, has voted to suspend Russia’s participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty with the United States.
The existing treaty, signed in 2010, limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the US and Russia can deploy.
The vote came after President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said Russia would suspend participation in the treaty. Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, is due to vote on the approval later today.
France regretted Russia’s decision to suspend its participation in the New START treaty, and called on Moscow to act responsibly and reconsider its decision.
In a statement, the French foreign ministry said the New START treaty is “an essential instrument of the international architecture of nuclear arms control, and strategic stability”.
It also expressed concern over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks that his country is ready to conduct a nuclear test in case the US conducts one.
The French ministry also underlined the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which Russia signed and ratified in 1996.