USA’s “Deep concern” about Russia’s plan to reverse nuclear test ban ratification

The United States has expressed “deep concern” about Russia’s plan to reverse its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the only international treaty that bans all nuclear explosions.

In a statement released on October 9, 2023, the US State Department said that Russia’s planned withdrawal from the CTBT would be a “serious setback for global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament efforts.”

“If Russia were to withdraw from the CTBT, it would send a dangerous message to the world that it is prepared to resume nuclear testing,” the statement said. “This would undermine the CTBT and make it more difficult to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.”

The CTBT was signed by 185 countries in 1996, and 184 have ratified it. However, the treaty has not entered into force because it has not been ratified by eight key countries, including the United States, China, Russia, and Iran.

Russia has been critical of the CTBT for many years, arguing that it favors the United States and other nuclear-armed countries. In 2016, Russia suspended its cooperation with the CTBT verification regime.

In recent months, Russia has signaled that it may be willing to withdraw from the CTBT altogether. In a speech to the Russian parliament in February 2023, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would “reconsider its participation in the CTBT” if other nuclear-armed countries did not ratify it.

The US State Department urged Russia to reconsider its plan to withdraw from the CTBT. “We call on Russia to maintain its commitment to the CTBT and to work with the international community to bring the treaty into force,” the statement said.

The potential withdrawal of Russia from the CTBT is a major concern for the United States and other countries that are committed to nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. The CTBT has played an important role in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and in reducing the risk of nuclear war.

If Russia were to withdraw from the treaty, it would set a dangerous precedent and could make it more difficult to maintain international peace and security.

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