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Russia Withdraws Support for Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Parliament Speaker States

On October 17, 2023, the speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, announced that Russia would be revoking its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The CTBT is an international treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, whether for military or civilian purposes. It was signed by 185 countries in 1996, but has only been ratified by 170. Russia ratified the treaty in 2000.

Volodin justified Russia’s decision to withdraw from the CTBT by citing the “irresponsible attitude of the United States to global security.” He pointed to the fact that the United States has not ratified the treaty, and has also withdrawn from other international arms control agreements, such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The Russian government has not yet said whether it plans to resume nuclear testing. However, the decision to withdraw from the CTBT is a significant blow to global nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Many view the treaty as a critical obstacle to creating fresh nuclear weapons, and if it fails, it might trigger a nuclear arms competition.

What does this mean for the world?

Russia’s withdrawal from the CTBT is a major setback for global nuclear nonproliferation. The treaty was already in jeopardy, as the United States has not ratified it and has withdrawn from other arms control agreements. Russia’s decision could lead to a new nuclear arms race, as countries seek to develop new weapons and technologies to maintain their deterrent capabilities.

The CTBT is also important for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other countries. If Russia resumes nuclear testing, it could send a signal to other countries that developing nuclear weapons is acceptable. This could lead to a more dangerous and unstable world.

What can be done?

The international community needs to work together to save the CTBT. The United States should ratify the treaty, and Russia should reconsider its decision to withdraw. Other countries should also ratify the treaty if they have not already done so. The international community should also work to strengthen other arms control agreements and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.


Russia’s withdrawal from the CTBT is a serious threat to global nuclear nonproliferation. The international community needs to work together to save the treaty and to prevent a new nuclear arms race.

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