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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. The United States should take practical steps and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Ban-Test Treaty (CTBT) so that the document does not become a fiasco, director of Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for nonproliferation and arms control Mikhail Ulyanov said on Wednesday.
"Twenty years after being opened for signing, the Treaty has still not entered into force. And prospects for that still remain rather unclear," Ulyanov said at the high level meeting in Vienna devoted to the 20th anniversary of opening CTBT for signing. "Countries that made their choice in favor of the Treaty still cannot fully rely on it," he added.
"Today the fate of CTBT remains in the hands of eight countries from Supplement 2 to the Treaty, whose ratification is necessary for it to enter into force. It will depend on the political will of these countries whether the international community will witness the creation of the new Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the start of the implementation of the Treaty or whether CTBT will become a fiasco together with the global system of its monitoring," the diplomat noted.
Special role in this group of countries belongs to the United States, he said. "Washington is capable of becoming a ‘locomotive’ in the process of launching the Treaty. We are confident that other key countries for the Treaty will follow suit as they act in this issue looking back at Washington," Ulyanov said.
"Unfortunately, despite repeated statements on plans to ratify CTBT and facilitate its soonest entry into force which have been heard since Barack Obama was elected US President, almost eight years have passed, and no concrete steps in this direction have been made," the diplomat noted. "Washington’s position is becoming a serious obstacle on the way of turning CTBT in a relevant international legal instrument," he concluded.
The CTBT Ministerial Meeting was held in Vienna on June 13-14.
The 20 Years CTBT Ministerial Meeting brought together leaders and policymakers to discuss, review, and reinvigorate the discussion on the CTBT. By providing a venue for participants to voice their needs, security concerns, and demands, the Ministerial Meeting stimulated the discussion needed on the issues currently blocking the entry into force of the worldwide ban on nuclear explosions.
Russia signed the CTBT on 24 September 1996, the day it was opened for signature. It ratified the Treaty on 20 June 2000. Russia is the second-largest host country of International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities after the United States. Currently, 27 of the 32 planned IMS facilities in Russia are certified and sending data to the CTBTO’s International Data Center in Vienna.