The moratorium will remain in place as long as the United States does not conduct “large-scale testing.”
Russia says it will continue to refrain from conducting nuclear weapons tests despite its withdrawal from the ban treaty. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Friday that Moscow intends to “maintain the moratorium that has been in place for more than 30 years.” The ministry warned that if the United States conducts “large-scale testing,” Russia “will be forced to do the same.”
The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) provides for the end of all nuclear weapons testing and was submitted for signature in 1996. However, it has not yet entered into force because not enough countries have ratified it. The nuclear powers, the United States of America and China, among others, have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law canceling Russia’s ratification of the treaty. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described this as “an important step in the wrong direction” that “takes us further away from the treaty’s entry into force than closer to it.”
After the Russian attack in Ukraine began in February 2022, Putin repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons. Last week, he attended a ballistic missile test that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu described as a rehearsal for a “massive” retaliatory nuclear strike against an unspecified enemy.
At the beginning of October, the Russian president said he was “not ready to say” whether Russia would resume nuclear weapons testing.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization has called on Russia to join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, including allowing the use of monitoring stations capable of detecting even small-scale explosions. (APA/AFP)
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