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Russia withdraws ratification of nuclear test ban treaty

Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament, said Tuesday that Russia withdrew ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty due to the “irresponsible attitude of the United States to global security,” according to Reuters.

In the interests of ensuring the security of our country, we are withdrawing the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Following calls by some security experts and lawmakers for a nuclear bomb test as a warning to the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on October 5 that he was not ready to approve a resumption of nuclear testing.

Volodin noted that the US did not ratify the 1996 Treaty because of the “irresponsible attitude to global security issues” while Russia did so in 2000, albeit with a delay.

The Russian Federation will do everything to protect its citizens and to maintain global strategic parity.

Withdrawing ratification of the treaty does not mean that Russia will stop cooperating with the test ban treaty signatory organisation and the global monitoring system that alerts the world to any nuclear tests.

Russian officials say the withdrawal does not mean a nuclear bomb testing, but arms control experts are concerned that Russia may begin to consider a resumption of nuclear weapons trials.

Russia has never conducted a nuclear test: The Soviet Union last tested in 1990 and the United States in 1992.

A resumption of nuclear testing by Russia, the United States or China could mean the beginning of a new nuclear arms race between the major powers.

A bipartisan commission appointed by the US Congress stated on Thursday that Washington should prepare for possible simultaneous wars with Moscow and Beijing.

Putin called these statements nonsense and claimed that he saw no need to change Russia’s nuclear doctrine: the country would order a nuclear strike only if it was attacked or if the existence of the state was endangered by an attack with conventional weapons.

I hear calls to start testing nuclear weapons, to return to testing. I am not ready to say whether we really need to conduct tests or not, but it is possible theoretically to behave in the same way as the United States.

Since the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was concluded in 1996, the world has carried out ten nuclear tests. India and Pakistan conducted two each in 1998, North Korea tested in 2006, 2009, 2013, twice in 2016 and in 2017.

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