Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that Moscow had been forced to suspend its participation in the new START nuclear arms control treaty because Washington was using it to help Ukraine attack Russian strategic sites.

Speaking at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Ryabkov said that the United States and its Western allies wanted to see Russia strategically defeated in Ukraine.

"The situation further degraded after U.S. attempts to assess the security of Russian strategic facilities outlined under the New START Treaty by assisting the Kyiv regime in conducting armed attacks against them," Ryabkov said.

"Under these circumstances, we were forced to announce the suspension of the Treaty." (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn)