Patrick Lawrence: Russia’s New Reset with the West

The new reset is Russia’s recognition that the West has been double-dealing and cannot be trusted. From Patrick Lawrence at

Putin’s announcement of a suspension of the last extant U.S.-Russia arms-control pact this week was a carefully attenuated move. It was also a big deal, but not in the way Western officials encourage us to think it is.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 23 in Moscow during Defender of the Fatherland Day, which marks the founding of the Red Army. (President of Russia)

News that Russia will suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms pact, which arrived Tuesday via Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly, had to land hard.

This suspension is not a withdrawal, as various Western media reports initially described it, and it is temporary, as the Russian president described it. It is a carefully attenuated move, then.

But it is a big deal nonetheless, although it is not a big deal in the way Western officials encourage us to think it is. It is a big deal in ways that Western officials do not want us to think about. 

“With today’s decision on New START,” NATO Secretary–General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference in Kiev with Dmitry Kuleba, the Ukrainian regime’s foreign minister, “the whole arms control architecture has been dismantled.”

This is the baldest, farthest-out-there take on Moscow’s step back I have been able to find. The New York Times initially ran this quotation but dropped it from its news report within a few hours, wisely. Now you have to find it in The Kyiv Independent, the not-independent propaganda daily backed by various Western governments.

What Stoltenberg was doing in Kiev, given NATO claims it is not prosecuting a war against Russia, is a good question. Then again, lots of people of Stoltenberg’s stature travel to Kiev these days.

President Joe Biden just took a train from Poland to Kiev to have a look at the progress or otherwise of the war the U.S. is not waging against Russia. Let us not miss: This kind of thing has much to do with Putin’s New START decision, as he made clear in his remarks Tuesday. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, passing through Athens, termed Moscow’s decision “unfortunate and irresponsible”— an improvement on Stoltenberg’s deranged assessment.

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