UPDATE – Moscow Denies US-Alleged Breach of Underground Nuclear Tests Moratorium

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 04th July, 2020) Russia rejects the allegations of its non-compliance with the ban on underground nuclear tests, considering them an attempt by the United States to divert attention from the fact that it did not ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Late last month, the US Department of State released its annual Compliance Report pertaining to implementation of arms control commitments by the US and other countries. Russia, in particular, has been alleged in having conducted “nuclear weapons-related experiments that have created nuclear yield” in violation of the 1974� US-Soviet Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, also known as the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT). In the very next sentence, the State Department clarified that it “does not know how many, if any” such experiments were conducted by Moscow in 2019.

“Predictably, the US allegations that Russia has breached the moratorium on nuclear tests by conducting experiments that do not meet the US ‘zero-yield’ standard have not been supported by any evidence. Moreover, the US has admitted that it knows neither the number of such tests in 2019, nor whether they have been conducted at all,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the statement, Moscow‘s international obligations do not entail compliance with any “US standards” with regard to nuclear tests.

“These insinuations have seemingly been floated to divert attention from the CTBT,” the ministry said, adding that “by refusing to ratify the CTBT, the US put it on the brink of complete collapse.”

For several months now, various Russia officials have voiced concerns about the US government‘s campaign, aided by the media, to prepare the ground for abandoning the CTBT.

“Claims on Russia‘s alleged violation of obligations under the 1974�US-Soviet Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, which stipulate that parties inform each other on any conducted tests, are built on false ‘premises,” the ministry said.

The multilateral CTBT was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 to halt all nuclear tests, both for civilian and military purposes. The treaty will enter into force once all 44 states listed in Annex 2 of the document ratify it. The United States is among the minority of countries which have not yet ratified the document. All European countries, including Russia, have ratified the treaty.

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