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The Nuclear Education of Vladimir Putin

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Originally published in Foreign Policy

There is evidence the Russian president is not ignorant of the security benefits of arms control.

In his speech to the Russian Federal Assembly last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would stop allowing onsite U.S. inspections of its nuclear arsenal. These inspections are required by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), a bilateral accord between the United States and Russia placing limitations on the total number of nuclear warheads and delivery devices each side may have. To verify compliance, the treaty relies in part on the assessments of visiting delegations from each country to the other’s military facilities to count warheads, bombs, and missiles.

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