Why Russia’s revocation of global nuclear test ban treaty raises concerns

Putin signed the bill revoking Russia’s ratification on Thursday

Russia-global-nuclear-test-ban-treaty (File) Russian President Vladimir | AP

With President Vladimir Putin signing the bill revoking Russia's ratification of a global nuclear test ban on Thursday, the nation's intention of testing the weapon comes to the forefront. However, Moscow said the move was to establish parity with the United States.

Both houses of the Russian parliament voted last month to revoke Moscow's ratification of the bill.

By revoking the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Russia has joined the stand taken by the US, said Putin.

The treaty, adopted in 1996, bans all nuclear explosions anywhere in the world. However, the treaty was never fully implemented. Countries including China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran and Egypt is yet ratify the treaty.

Russia revoking the ratification at this juncture, when its fighting the war with Ukraine, raises widespread concerns. Experts point out that Russia may resume nuclear tests to try to discourage the West from offering support to Ukraine. Reportedly, Russian law experts and officials had suggested to test nuclear weapon to discourage the West. 

Putin has noted that some experts argue for the necessity of conducting nuclear tests but said he had not formed an opinion on the issue.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabko said Moscow would continue to respect the ban and will only engage in nuclear tests if US does first.

The Soviet Union last tested in 1990 and the United States in 1992.

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