(TotalConservative.com) – Russian President Vladimir Putin made a huge move last Thursday: he signed a bill into law that revokes his country’s ratification of a worldwide nuclear test ban, a decision the Kremlin says was necessary to match the United States.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was first adopted in 1996 and forbids testing nuclear explosives anywhere on the planet, although the treaty has never been fully implemented. Israel, Iran, North Korea, India, China, and Pakistan have all yet to ratify the treaty. The United States has also not ratified the agreement. Putin says rescinding Russia’s ratification is for the sake of mirroring the American position on the matter.
The move comes amidst widespread concerns that the Kremlin may decide to resume testing nuclear weapons. The rumor is that they would do so in order to dissuade the US and other Western nations from continuing to support Ukraine. Russia invaded the neighboring nation in February 2022, and the two countries have been at war ever since, with the US and NATO backing Ukraine.
Putin signed the bill last Thursday after both parliament houses in Russia voted to revoke the ratification of the 1996 treaty.
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, called the move “a significant step in the wrong direction,” and said Russia’s decision “sets back confidence” in the control of international arms. Blinken said that “Russian officials” stated that their decision didn’t mean resuming nuclear weapons testing and urged Russia “to hold those statements.”
Putin says he hasn’t formed a solid position on the matter, although he’s noted in the past that some experts have argued conducting such tests is necessary.
Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, stated last month that the ban would continue to be respected by Russia and that nuclear tests would only resume in response to a move by Washington to do so first.
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