Putin gives nod to law revoking Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The US stated earlier this month that it was “disturbed” by Russia’s move to revoke ratification of the treaty…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on Russia’s withdrawal from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Russian News Agency TASS reported on Thursday.

According to Russian TASS, the treaty was signed on behalf of Russia on September 24, 1996 in New York and ratified by Russia on May 27, 2020.

Kremlin Spokesman said earlier that the withdrawal of ratification of the treaty equalises the situation in the field of nuclear testing for Moscow and Washington, which never ratified the document. He also pointed out that the withdrawal of the CTBT ratification does not mean that Russia plans to conduct nuclear tests.

The document was supposed to become the main international legal instrument for stopping any kind of nuclear testing. To date, however, the treaty has not entered into force because it has not been ratified by 8 of the 44 states that have nuclear weapons or the potential to create them, Russian TASS reported.

According to the document published on the official legal portal, the adopted law was designed to restore parity in nuclear arms control commitments. It is specified that the document creates a legal basis for Russia to withdraw its instrument of ratification, but does not imply the country’s withdrawal from the CTBT.

On October 26, amid Russia’s war against Ukraine, Russian Lawmakers approved a bill revoking the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Al Jazeera reported.

According to Al Jazeera, the Russian upper house Federation Council unanimously okayed the bill to abandon the significant agreement outlawing nuclear weapons tests on Wednesday.

The lower house State Duma passed it in an accelerated vote last week.

On October 6, Russia announced its intention to withdraw from the treaty but it’s still unclear that the decision will result in Russia resuming tests of nuclear weapons, Al Jazeera reported.

Putin said on October 5, “I hear calls to start testing nuclear weapons. I am not ready to say whether we really need to conduct tests or not.”Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier this month that Moscow will continue to respect the ban and will only resume nuclear tests if the US does so.

However, he noted that the US conducted a chemical explosion at its test site in Nevada.

While Washington said the test would help it “detect” low-yield nuclear explosions, Ryabkov told the Federation Council that the blast was “undoubtedly a political signal”.

“As our president said, we must be on alert, and if the United States moves towards the start of nuclear tests, we will have to respond here in the same way,” the official said.

The US stated earlier this month that it was “disturbed” by Russia’s move to revoke ratification of the treaty.

“A move like this by any state party needlessly endangers the global norm against nuclear explosive testing,” the US State Department said.

Russia should not be “wielding arms control and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric in a failing attempt to coerce other states”, the State Department added, appearing to suggest that the move was aimed at pressuring the US and other countries who are supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces. (ANI)

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