Russian lawmakers endorse suspension of nuclear pact with US

MOSCOW (AP) — Both houses of Russia’s parliament have quickly endorsed President Vladimir Putin’s move to suspend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the United States. Officials and lawmakers cast it as an eleventh-hour warning to Washington. Putin declared that Moscow was suspending its participation in the 2010 New START treaty in his state-of-the-nation address Tuesday, saying that Russia can’t accept U.S. inspections of its nuclear sites under the pact while Washington and its NATO allies have openly declared Russia’s defeat in Ukraine as a goal. Putin emphasized that Russia was not withdrawing from the pact altogether, and the Russian Foreign Ministry said the country would respect the caps on nuclear weapons set under the treaty.