The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, has approved the first of three readings of a bill that would rescind Russia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the State Duma’s website reported on Tuesday.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear testing whether for military or civilian purposes, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. The treaty lists 44 countries that must ratify it before it can enter into force. While Russia ratified the treaty in 2000, neither the US nor China has done so.
State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said that Russia had spent 23 years waiting for the US to ratify the treaty and blamed Washington’s failure to do so on “double standards and a reckless attitude towards global security,” adding that Washington needed to understand that US hegemony wouldn’t lead to “anything good”.
The bill has its second and third readings planned on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Russian MPs began considering ditching its ratification of the treaty soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Russia might rescind its ratification earlier this month during an announcement that Russia had “successfully tested” Burevestnik, an experimental new nuclear-armed cruise missile.