Putin Revokes Russia’s Ratification of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

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Putin Revokes Russia’s Ratification of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that cancels Russia’s endorsement of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This treaty, established in 1996, prohibits all nuclear explosions, including live tests of nuclear weapons. However, it never came into effect because some key countries, including the United States and China, never ratified it.

Western nations have accused Russia of using provocative nuclear rhetoric since its invasion of Ukraine in February.

Just last week, Putin oversaw ballistic missile exercises, which Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu referred to as preparation for a “massive” retaliatory nuclear strike against an unnamed adversary.

In the past month, Putin also indicated that he was uncertain whether Russia would conduct live nuclear tests.

The bill to withdraw from the treaty passed through Russia’s parliament quickly last month. During parliamentary discussions, State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin argued that this move was in response to the United States’ “cynicism” and “rude attitudes” regarding nuclear weapons.

Although the treaty never entered into force, it was ratified by 178 countries, including nuclear powers like France and the United Kingdom, and held symbolic value.

Supporters of the treaty argue that it established an international norm against live nuclear weapon tests, while critics believe its potential remained unfulfilled without the ratification of major nuclear-armed countries.

Russia’s parliament initially ratified the treaty in June 2000, six months after Putin became president for the first time.

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