One of the late Sen. Richard Lugar's major accomplishments is under threat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday that his country would no longer participate in the New START nuclear arms control treaty.

Lugar, at the time the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was one of 13 who crossed party lines and voted with the Senate's Democratic majority to ratify the treaty in 2010.

He often said the existence and spread of weapons of mass destruction was the No. 1 national security threat facing the U.S. and other countries.

The treaty "would strengthen our non-proliferation diplomacy worldwide, limit potential arms competition and help us focus our defense resources effectively," Lugar said before the bill's passage in 2010. "It offers concrete national security benefits that will make the American people safer."

The New START treaty was signed by then-presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev that year and limited the U.S. and Russia to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. It was extended in February 2021 and is the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement between the two countries.

Statehouse and General Assignment Reporter

Brett Stover is a Reporter covering the Indiana Statehouse and general assignments for The Journal Gazette. A University of Missouri graduate, Stover has covered news in Indiana since 2021.