Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, revoked his country’s ratification of a significant nuclear test ban pact on Thursday. This action suggests that Moscow will not relinquish nuclear constraints in the midst of its conflict with Ukraine.
Putin signed the law, which was approved by the Russian parliament last month, according to state-run media in Russia. Putin has previously stated in public that he intended to withdraw the pact that prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons.
Launched in 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was finally ratified by 178 nations, including Russia. The country’s departure from the treaty has been described by Russian officials as a step toward parity with Western nations.
Aiming to prohibit all nuclear explosions, including live nuclear weapons testing, the CTBT was created in 1996 but faced difficulties since important nations had not ratified it.
Although Putin’s decision to leave the deal appears to put Russia in line with the US, it is still unclear whether this move will result in the restart of nuclear weapons testing in Russia.
On October 5, Putin said, I am not prepared to make a decision whether we really need to carry out tests or not. This is not the first time that Putin has shown hesitation.
Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, has stated that Moscow will stick to the embargo and won’t allow nuclear testing to resume until the US follows suit.
After the vote in the upper chamber, Putin oversaw a “massive” nuclear attack drill in which Russia tested missiles from physical silos, a nuclear submersible, and long-range bomber aircraft.
Nevertheless, the pact never took effect since it failed to receive the necessary number of ratifications from a number of powerful nations, notably China and the United States.
Putin pointed out that the United States never approved the CTBT when he indicated his intention to withdraw it. The Russian state-run media agency TASS said that the Kremlin claimed the lifting of the nuclear test prohibition leveled the playing field.
Along with Russia, the United States signed the treaty, but it was never ratified or its rules put into effect. Other nations, including China, Israel, Iran, and North Korea, were unable to complete their ratification of the treaty.
The withdrawal of Russia from the CTBT is not unexpected. Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, Putin has made it clear that he intends to revoke the deal.
In October, the de-ratification of the treaty was adopted by both the lower and upper chambers of the Russian Parliament.
Putin Oversaw a Military Exercise
Last month, Putin supervised a military drill that simulated launching a nuclear strike in retaliation for a nuclear attack. Multiple ballistic and cruise missile mock launches were part of the exercise.
Putin was shown leading the drill via video conference with senior military officers on Russian state television.
Last month, Moscow’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declared that his country would stick to the embargo and wouldn’t restart nuclear testing unless Washington took the lead.
The U.S. nuclear experiments at the end of October that employed poisons and radioactive elements to “confirm new predicted explosion models”—which can aid in the detection of atomic explosions in other nations—were mentioned by the Kremlin.
Putin and his supporters have been threatening to deploy nuclear weapons more and more, and early this year, the Russian president sent tactical nuclear bombs with a lower yield to Belarus.
After a first land launch, Russia also successfully tested a nuclear-powered, long-range cruising missile in October.