Russian Foreign Ministry: U.S. lays groundwork for resuming nuclear tests
The United States, which has taken up a destructive position on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), is laying groundwork for a potential resumption of nuclear tests, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the treaty ratification by Moscow.
The document has not entered into force so far because eight countries have either not signed or not ratified the treaty. "The U.S. holds the most destructive position in this regard by officially declaring that it is not planning to ratify the CTBT, laying groundwork for a potential resumption of nuclear tests," the Foreign Ministry stressed.
Moscow calls on states which did not ratify or sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to reconsider their stance. "The non-proliferation and arms control regime is facing serious challenges. We must do everything possible to overcome the negative trends. Russia is calling on the above mentioned eight states and first and foremost the US to reconsider their stance and to greenlight the ratification of this key treaty in the sphere of global security, making it a fully functioning international legal instrument," the statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website said.
The Foreign Ministry emphasized that the CTBT’s entry into force could create a "shield against developing nuclear weapons, preventing their proliferation," TASS reported.
Since the ratification of the treaty, Moscow has been meeting its commitments, while contributing to its entry into force remains one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities, the ministry stated. Russia has been actively involved in the activity of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), including the creation of a verification mechanism. In Russia, the second largest national segment of the International Monitoring System (IMS) is being created, which is one of key elements of the treaty’s verification mechanisms. Some 28 out of 32 monitoring stations planned in Russia have been put into operation.
The CTBT outlaws the explosions of nuclear warheads and nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. The ban applies to testing in all environments (underwater, underground, in the atmosphere, and in the outer space) and is of an absolute and comprehensive nature. The UN General Assembly session adopted the CTBT on September 24, 1996. By now the agreement has been signed by 183 countries, including Russia, but has not taken effect because eight countries, including the United States, have not yet ratified it.