Putin Withdraws From Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

(ConservativeInsider.org) – On Thursday, Vladimir Putin signed a bill revoking Russia’s 2000 decision to ratify a global ban on nuclear testing, which the Russian President said was necessary to establish nuclear parity with the United States, the Associated Press reported.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted in 1996. It banned all nuclear test explosions worldwide. However, the treaty was never completely implemented as several signatory countries, the United States, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan, never ratified it.

Last month, President Putin said that revoking Russia’s ratification of the treaty would “mirror” the position taken by the United States.

Legislation was introduced in the Russian parliament in October to revoke the ratification of CTBT and both houses voted to approve the measure, with the lower house voting unanimously in favor of the legislation on October 18.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, there has been widespread concern that Moscow might resume nuclear testing as a way to discourage NATO from continuing to support Ukraine. Many Russian hawks, however, have voiced support for the resumption of nuclear tests.

Putin has said that despite some experts arguing that conducting nuclear tests was necessary, he had not formed an opinion on the matter.

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister said last month that Russia would continue to honor the ban unless the United States resumes testing first.

Patricia Lewis, the director of research in international security from London-based think tank Chatham House, told the Associated Press last month that even after Russia de-ratifies CTBT, it remains a signatory, meaning Moscow still agrees to abide by the treaty’s terms.

At the same time, Lewis said Russia’s challenge shows an “unraveling” of the checks and balances that have been in place to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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