25 Oct 2023 11:17

Russia's Federation Council approves CTBT de-ratification

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) - The Federation Council approved a bill that revokes Russia's ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at a meeting on Wednesday.

"Unless the United States starts taking steps towards the fulfillment of its obligations, the treaty will remain a sham, and of course, there will be no point in Russia's participation in this imitation any further," Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said before the vote.

"We should do away with the inequality, in this case within the framework of a particular document, rebalance the system, fix distortions and restore justice," she said.

"If the West, the United States are actually interested in international stability, they will hear our message and will take the necessary measures," Matviyenko said.

In turn, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Sergei Kislyak said at the meeting that the de-ratification did not weaken the constructive approach to the CTBT.

"Russia remains a state which has signed the treaty with all the ensuing rights and obligations," he said.

"The so-called chemical explosion, i.e. a chemical-based explosion reported by the United States as a test of the reliability of the respective protocols and equipment, was carried out at the Nevada test site in the U.S. on the exact same day the bill was adopted by the State Duma," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Federation Council at the CTBT de-ratification hearing.

"Obviously, this is also a political message. We should be vigilant. As our president has said, we should be ready for a tit-for-tat response if the United States advances towards beginning nuclear tests in situ. This is what we rely on in our course of action," Ryabkov said.

The CTBT was adopted at the 50th session of the UN General Assembly on September 10, 1996, and opened for signing on September 24, 1996.

Russia ratified the treaty in 2000. The bill approved by the Federation Council on Wednesday revokes this decision.

Federation Council Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachyov said on Telegram earlier that the CTBT had been a non-functioning document, as it never took effect. Three signatures and eight ratifications, including those by the United States that signed the treaty in 1996 but formally refused to ratify it in 2018, are missing.

Kosachyov described the revocation of Russia's ratification as "the restoration of equality, parity and the military-strategic balance."