NEBRASKA CITY - U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska says Vladimir Putin's announcement that Russia will suspend the New START treaty is no surprise, but further reason for the United States to keep its nuclear deterrent strong.

The New START is known as the last surviving arms control agreement, but Fischer says Russia has not been in compliance.

The treaty started in 2011 with limits to be met by 2018. Sen. Fischer said both nations met limits, such as 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers with nuclear armaments.

However, she said, Russia has not allowed inspections in the past year.

Fischer: "This hamstrings us in a way because we allow inspections of our weapons, our platforms, and the Russians don't reciprocate. They are not following the treaty."

Fischer, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the top Republican on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, called Putin's announcement another dangerous example of Putin's trying to use nuclear saber-rattling to coerce other nations.

Fischer: “The international community cannot blink. It’s critical that the Biden administration work with our allies to determine how the breakdown of New START should fundamentally alter our force posture.

“Our two greatest adversaries, Russia and China, are both refusing to participate in any meaningful arms control agreements or dialogue.

“If the administration needed another reason to finally work with Congress to shore up our nuclear deterrence, this is it. It’s time to stop shortchanging our national defense and put forward a strong budget that accelerates the modernization of our nuclear triad.”

Fischer: "The United States needs to be realistic. We have a triad with our ICBMs, our bombers, our subs, that has kept this country safe for over 70 years and that is through deterrence.

"Deterrence keeps our country safe, it keeps our allies safe because we provide that nuclear umbrella for our allies, as well. It is necessary that we continue to modernize the platforms we have."

She said the development of a triad of ICBMs, submarines and bombers by China adds to the need to be alert to nuclear threats.

Fischer: "We are in a new era. We have two peer competitors when it comes to nuclear weapons now. It's not just the Russians, but we also face the Chinese. They have a triad now, which they did not have before.

"That means they have ICBMs, they have submarines and they have bombers. They have a bomber similar to our B2, so it's dangerous times."

She said it is important to continue to reach out to Russia and China for communication and negotiation, but when you are in a treaty you should be able to count on your counterpart following the treaty.

Fischer: "Russia ... Putin getting out of this treaty means nothing because they weren't complying with it anyway."