Putin Reverses Ban on Nuclear Testing

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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill on Thursday to throw out the Kremlin’s ban on nuclear testing.

Moscow’s move to renege on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, also called the CTBT, would “mirror” the White House’s position on nuclear testing, Putin said.

The United States is a signatory to the CTBT but has never ratified it. Seven other countries including China, Iran, Israel, Egypt, North Korea, India and Pakistan also never ratified the treaty.

In October, both houses of the Russian parliament passed the bill opting out of the CTBT. Putin’s signing it into law was expected.

Putin has sent a clear message to the West, and some analysts think that restarting nuclear tests after a more than two-decade ban could be a political maneuver to scare off NATO countries from helping Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

But Putin is still undecided about whether Russia should go forward with nuclear testing, though various experts, he said, have argued to do so.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said last month that the Kremlin would respect the ban unless the United States stages any new nuclear tests.

Source : VOA News