Asked about the risk of a new arms race, the Russian leader said in his annual news conference on Thursday, "It happened already, and this is obvious."
Putin said he believed US President-elect Joe Biden is open to dialog on the issue, but “we need some reaction from our American partners.”
The Russian president had earlier urged the White House to agree on a one-year extension of the New START treaty, which is the last major nuclear arms control treaty between Moscow and Washington that puts a limit on the development and deployment of strategic nuclear warheads of both countries.
During his Thursday conference, Putin reiterated his call, urging Washington to extend the New START arms control treaty for one year.
"Now there is also a threat that Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is terminated. This would mean there are no more restrictions to the arms race, none, at all. We have called and continue to call upon our western partners to prolong this treaty for at least a year. During this year we would have substantive, as diplomats say, talks on what to do next and how to live on."
Back in July 1991, the START which later was called the START I, was signed by then US president George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union, barring both countries from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and bombers.
In January 1993, President Bush and Boris Yeltsin, the former Russian president, signed START II, but it collapsed and never entered into effect.
The START I treaty expired in late 2009 and its replacement, called the New START or START III, was signed in April 2010 by former US president Barack Obama and then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, under which both sides agreed to halve the number of strategic nuclear missiles and restrict the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550.
The treaty can be extended for another five years, beyond its expiry date in February 2021, by mutual agreement.