Russia to return to CTBT ratification as soon as US does — Lavrov

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Russia is ready to return to the issue of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as soon as the United States does the same, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a video address to the participants of the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference.

The top diplomat recalled that in 1999 the US Congress refused to ratify the treaty under far-fetched pretexts. “Russia’s withdrawal of the CBTB ratification became a logical response to the destructive moves by the US and other Western countries. That said, we remain a full-fledged party to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Not so long ago, we completed the formation of our segment of the International Monitoring System. We are ready to return to the issue of its ratification as soon as the US does this,” he said.

Lavrov pointed out that Washington has not taken any practical steps in this direction since 1999. “We believe its explanation that it cannot get Congress’s approval for the treaty’s ratification is a flimsy excuse. Hence, we conclude that the US political establishment is not interested in the CTBT,” the foreign minister pointed out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier signed a law withdrawing Russia’s ratification of the CTBT. The treaty was signed on behalf of Russia in New York on September 24, 1996, and ratified by Russia on May 27, 2000. It was intended to be the principal international legal instrument for ending all nuclear testing. However, the treaty never entered into force because it was not ratified by 8 of the 44 states that have nuclear weapons or the potential to develop them.

Source: Itar Tass

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