Russia Might Exit Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Russia might withdraw its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to be on par with the US, Kommersant has reported.

Elements within the Russian government are reportedly advocating Moscow’s withdrawal from the 1996 international agreement to suspend all nuclear weapons tests that have never come into force because some nations – including the US – have not ratified it.

Russia, or the then-Soviet Union, conducted its most recent nuclear test in 1990 while the US did the same in 1992.

The discussion over the proposed move is at an early stage though the withdrawal itself would be symbolic rather than practical.

Previously on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted during a weekly media briefing that Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear tests except those conducted underground, reminding of the failure to expand the prohibition failed and blaming for that the “destructive and irresponsible actions” of the US.

The Trump White House inserted into an update of the US nuclear posture in 2018 a refusal to ratify CTBT while Biden formally reversed that policy in 2022, expressing commitment to put the treaty into force though experts consider it highly unlikely that the White House will get the necessary votes in Congress.

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