Russian President Vladimir Putin (71) has signed a law approving Russia’s withdrawal from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The UN treaty, which dates from 1996, bans all forms of nuclear explosions.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was established in 1996 and bans all nuclear explosions. 132 countries, including Russia, signed and ratified the document. But some major players on the world stage, such as North Korea, China and the United States, did not. Due to a lack of ratifications, the treaty never entered into force.
Putin announced at the beginning of October that Russia would withdraw from the treaty. His signature was just a formality, as the Duma had previously agreed.
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According to the president, the move is “a reflection of Russia’s relations with the United States.” Moscow says the withdrawal of ratification does not change its policy on nuclear weapons and that it does not plan to carry out new tests unless the Americans do so. The last Russian nuclear test took place in 1990, during the Soviet Union. The US last conducted a nuclear test in 1992.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons several times. In February, Russia suspended its participation in the nuclear disarmament treaty ‘New START’, a bilateral agreement between Moscow and Washington. Last summer, Putin also installed tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, a close ally.
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