Russia’s upper house rescinds ratification of nuclear test ban treaty

Moscow, Oct 25 (EFE).- Russia’s Federation Council on Wednesday approved a bill to rescind Moscow’s ratification of the global Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Following the approval in the upper house, the bill, which was previously approved unanimously by the State Duma or lower house, will go to President Vladimir Putin for final approval.

Moscow has argued the need to take this step to mirror the stand taken by the United States, which signed the CTBT 23 years ago but has never ratified it.

Russian authorities have stressed that the revocation does not mean that the Kremlin will resume nuclear testing, at least for now, since “the moratorium remains” in force.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier this month that Moscow would respect the ban and only resume testing if the US does so first.

The CTBT, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, has been signed by 185 countries. Russia ratified it in 2000.

The treaty prohibits “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion” anywhere in the world but cannot formally enter into force until it is ratified by 44 specific nations, eight of which have yet to do so: China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, Egypt, and the United States. EFE


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