At a meeting of the UN General Assembly, Russia called on all countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible. This statement was made by the representative of the permanent mission of the Russian Federation to the organization, Dmitry Glukhov. To date, the CTBT has been ratified by 178 countries, including Russia. However, the treaty has not yet entered into force because several states have not signed or ratified it. The latter includes the USA. At the same time, Moscow is expressing concern about Washington’s possible resumption of nuclear tests. According to analysts, this policy of the United States jeopardizes the future of the CTBT.
Russia called on the United States and a number of other states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as soon as possible. A representative of the Russian Permanent Mission to the organization, Dmitry Glukhov, made a corresponding statement at a meeting of the UN General Assembly.
“We call on the leadership of the states on which the fate of the treaty depends to show political will and responsibility by making concrete decisions on its signing and ratification as soon as possible,” Glukhov said.
He noted that the efforts of the international community, primarily “the remaining eight countries from Annex 2 to the CTBT,” should be concentrated on turning it into a valid international legal instrument.
“This is one of the absolute priorities in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and arms control,” the Russian diplomat stated.
Let us recall that to date the CTBT has been ratified by 178 states. However, for the agreement to enter into force, it must be approved by the 44 countries listed in Annex 2 to the treaty. From this list, the agreement was ratified by 36 states, including Russia, Great Britain and France. Of the remaining eight countries, India, North Korea and Pakistan have not signed the CTBT. Five more states signed it but did not ratify it: the United States, China, Egypt, Israel and Iran.
Despite this, US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins at a meeting of the UN General Assembly called on other countries to ratify the CTBT.
“President Biden has long supported and advocated for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and the United States is firmly committed to supporting the treaty and efforts to bring it into force. We call on all countries, especially those listed in Annex 2 to the treaty, to ratify the CTBT without waiting for others to do so,” Jenkins said.
US Deputy Secretary of State for Arms Control Bonnie Jenkins AP © Theresa Wey
She also called on countries with nuclear weapons to declare or maintain a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing.
“While such voluntary moratoria help to uphold international norms against nuclear testing, we also recognize the indispensability of a legally binding ban that will be enforced upon entry into force of the CTBT. Such a ban is in the interests of all states,” said a State Department representative.
Jenkins’ statement was commented on by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov. According to him, the United States has long promised to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT, but in reality remains a “deviator.”
“Washington has been feeding the world with promises for 30 years to help bring the CTBT into force. But in reality he remains a draft dodger. Other countries, in their decisions on this issue, look to America, which, in essence, contributes to the erosion of this important agreement in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” Antonov’s statement is quoted by the embassy’s Telegram channel.
“Destruction of the pillars of international security”
In her speech, Jenkins also expressed concern about Vladimir Putin’s February statements about the Russian Federation’s readiness to resume nuclear tests. According to her, such rhetoric contradicts Russia’s obligations under the CTBT. At the same time, she chose not to mention the words of the Russian leader that Moscow would take such a step only in response to similar actions by the United States.
Let us recall that in February 2023, the President of Russia, in his message to the Federal Assembly, drew attention to the fact that in the United States there is a discussion about conducting nuclear tests to test the readiness of the American strategic arsenal.
“We know all the ins and outs: we know that the warranty periods for combat use of certain types of nuclear weapons in the United States are expiring. And in this regard, some figures in Washington… are already thinking about the possibility of natural testing of their nuclear weapons, including taking into account the fact that the United States is developing new types of nuclear weapons,” the Russian leader noted.
Session of the UN General Assembly globallookpress.com © Li Muzi/Xinhua
Putin stressed that in this situation, the Russian Ministry of Defense and Rosatom must ensure readiness to test Russian nuclear weapons.
“We, of course, will not be the first to do this, but if the United States conducts tests, then we will conduct them too. No one should have dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed,” the president said.
According to Anatoly Antonov, the State Department representative “blatantly distorted” the essence of the Russian leader’s statement. The diplomat noted that the Russian Federation ratified the CTBT back in 2000 and “consistently and responsibly adheres to a unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests.” The United States not only did not follow Moscow’s example, but also “didn’t lift a finger to put the treaty into effect,” the ambassador stated.
He also did not rule out that, due to Washington’s position, the CTBT could be eliminated in the future.
“The policy of the United States, including on issues of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, is that someone else is always to blame for the destruction of the pillars of international security. As a rule, Russia. This time, if Washington does not give up the temptation to resume nuclear tests (and no one can exclude this), we will “bury” the CTBT,” Antonov concluded.
It is worth noting that Russia has repeatedly expressed concern that the United States is preventing the CTBT from entering into force. This was, in particular, stated by Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov during a speech in March of this year at the Conference on Disarmament as part of the high-level segment in Geneva.
“Responsibility for the fact that the treaty has not entered into force for more than a quarter of a century of its existence lies, in fact, with the United States, which demonstratively refused to ratify it and is clearly committed to resuming testing. We cannot remain indifferent to what is happening. If the United States nevertheless decides to take such a step and is the first to conduct nuclear tests, we will be forced to respond adequately,” the diplomat emphasized.
Sergey Ryabkov RIA Novosti © Vitaly Belousov
In turn, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in a May interview with Izvestia noted that the United States is violating international agreements and is “unceremoniously preparing to resume full-scale atomic tests.” He also called Washington’s decision to transfer technology for the construction of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia within the framework of the AUKUS military association cynical.
The possibility of resuming full-scale nuclear tests in the United States was openly announced back in 2020. Then this was voiced by the acting assistant to the head of the Pentagon for nuclear affairs, Drew Walter. He said the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons maintenance, “is committed to maintaining the ability to resume testing within a certain time frame.”
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According to military expert Andrei Klintsevich, by not ratifying the CTBT, the United States is leaving a window of opportunity for itself in the matter of testing nuclear weapons.
“The Americans always act from the position that everyone needs to formulate certain rules that must be followed, but the United States will be the exception. Naturally, Washington does not want anyone to conduct tests now so that someone else could have such a weapon. They leave a window of opportunity for themselves to test nuclear weapons if necessary,” the analyst said in a conversation with RT.
“They don’t ratify, but they support”
An expert at the Association of Military Political Scientists, head of the department of political analysis and socio-psychological processes at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Andrei Koshkin, in a conversation with RT, noted that the United States is manipulating the topic of resuming nuclear tests, obviously hinting at the corresponding intention of the Russian Federation. At the same time, Washington is concealing its own plans in this area, the specialist added.
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“They consider themselves the main policeman on the planet, the hegemon, and do what they want. They advise everyone, point them out, but they themselves behave as they see fit,” said RT’s interlocutor.
A similar point of view is shared by Vadim Kozyulin, head of the Center for Global Studies and International Relations of the IAMP Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“The United States does not ratify the CTBT, but supports this treaty, considering it an important instrument. This looks like a policy pursued by a world gendarme who establishes rules for others, but not for himself,” the analyst said in a conversation with RT.
Experts also agreed with Anatoly Antonov’s opinion that due to Washington’s actions, the future of the CTBT may be in jeopardy. Moreover, Andrei Klintsevich believes that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is also under threat.
“The CTBT is under threat… As soon as one of the countries conducts nuclear tests, the CTBT will immediately cease to exist. Exactly the same situation has arisen with the NPT due to the fact that the Americans announced the creation of the AUKUS bloc, within the framework of which nuclear technologies will be transferred to Australia,” the expert concluded.