June 24th, 2024

Russian parliament’s upper house rescinds ratification of global nuclear test ban

By The Associated Press on October 25, 2023.

FILE - In image from video released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Oct. 26, 2022, a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is test-fired as part of Russia's nuclear drills from a launch site in Plesetsk, northwestern Russia. The lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday gave its final approval to a bill revoking the ratification of a global nuclear test ban treaty, a move Moscow described as putting it on par with the United States. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

MOSCOW (AP) – The upper house of the Russian parliament on Wednesday revoked the ratification of a global nuclear test ban in what Moscow has describes as a move to establish parity with the United States.

The Federation Council voted to endorse a bill rescinding the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, also known as the CTBT. The bill will now be sent to President Vladimir Putin for final approval. The lower house approved the bill last week.

The vote follows a statement from Putin, who warned earlier this month that Moscow could revoke its 2000 decision to ratify the bill to “mirror” the stand taken by the U.S., which has signed but not ratified the nuclear test ban.

The CTBT, adopted in 1996, bans all nuclear explosions anywhere in the world but the treaty was never fully implemented. In addition to the U.S., it is yet to be ratified by China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran and Egypt.

There are widespread concerns that Russia could move to resume nuclear tests to try to discourage the West from continuing to offer military support to Ukraine. Many Russian hawks have spoken in favor of a resumption of the tests.

Putin has noted that while some experts have argued that it’s necessary to conduct nuclear tests, he hasn’t yet formed an opinion on the issue.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier this month that Moscow will continue to respect the ban and will only resume nuclear tests if Washington does it first.

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