In a move that has raised serious alarms across the international community, Russia has officially withdrawn from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The decision was confirmed when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law annulling Russia’s ratification of the CTBT, according to reports from Reuters and the Associated Press.
The Polish Foreign Ministry has wasted no time in expressing its profound concerns regarding this development. In a statement released shortly after the news broke, the ministry stated, “We have received with serious concern the news of Russia’s withdrawal from ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The decision was taken after months of irresponsible rhetoric and nuclear threats, during the ongoing illegal aggression against Ukraine. This unjustified and unprecedented step represents a further weakening of the international security architecture.”
The ministry emphasized that Russia, as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), had previously committed to working towards the early implementation of the CTBT, aligning with the principle of irreversibility in arms control measures.
Highlighting the significance of the CTBT in the context of global security, the Polish foreign ministry stressed, “it is the guardian of standards prohibiting nuclear tests.” Poland has been a signatory to the CTBT since 1999, alongside 178 other nations. However, the treaty has not yet come into force due to the lack of ratification by eight countries from the core list of 44 states. Notably, the United States, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, and Egypt have either not signed or acceded to the treaty.
One worrisome aspect of Russia’s withdrawal is the concern that it might be considering conducting a nuclear test as a deterrent to Western countries providing military support to Ukraine. If such a scenario were to unfold, it could potentially spark a new era of nuclear tests by the world’s superpowers.
It’s important to note that Russia has not conducted a nuclear test since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The last nuclear test in the Soviet Union occurred in 1990, with the United States conducting its last test in 1992. These developments mark a significant departure from the prevailing norm and have raised substantial concerns about the future of global nuclear stability.