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There is no chance for Russia and the United States to reach an understanding on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty because Washington seems bent on destroying it, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Andrey Kortunov told TASS on Wednesday, commenting on the 35th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s unilateral testing moratorium.
The expert pointed out that it was Washington’s position that prevented the treaty from entering into force. "Russia has repeatedly brought up this issue, we urged all US administrations to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty so that it would be possible to put pressure on other countries that had not done the same or decided not to join the treaty," Kortunov noted.
And now, in his words, there is a real risk that the US will resume nuclear testing, which will automatically derail the treaty.
According to Kortunov, the United States’ policy documents make it clear that the country has no plans to ratify the treaty, moreover, it has decided to increase the capabilities of its nuclear test sites. That said, if the US chooses to carry out nuclear tests, it will need months and not years to prepare the sites.
However, despite the Trump administration’s destructive steps, which are increasingly leading to the collapse of international arms control mechanisms, Russia continues struggling to maintain global stability, the expert went on to say. If the US eventually decides to resume nuclear testing, then Russia will carefully weigh possible responses. "In my view, we showed reasonable restraint following the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russia refrained from immediate military buildup," the analyst emphasized. At the same time, Russia did not leave the Treaty on Open Skies after Washington had announced its withdrawal plans.
Russia’s position on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty will depend on many factors, particularly on whether the US conducts nuclear tests or just withdraws from the treaty, the analyst said. In addition, the reaction of other countries, particularly US allies, will also be important. However, regardless of what the future holds for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the current situation causes much concern, Kortunov concluded.