MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. Russia supports the statement by the CTBTO Preparatory Commission’s Group of Eminent Persons on the need for achieving the comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s coming into effect and maintaining the moratorium on nuclear explosions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.
She recalled that in the wake of media reports senior US officials were discussing the possibility of a demonstration nuclear test explosion the Group of Eminent Persons on May 29 urged all countries aware of their responsibility to reaffirm resolute support for the treaty and take specific action to ensure the treaty’s coming into effect.
"We express our full support for his statement and hope that Washington will turn an attentive ear to the opinion of people who made a tangible personal contribution to the emergence of nuclear non-proliferation and with their actions promoted the strengthening of world peace and security," Zakharova said.
The experts stressed that the CTBT coming into force would lift concerns over the risk of possible nuclear tests, because the agreement envisages urgent inspections for investigating suspicious activity. "For this the treaty is to be ratified by another eight countries. The United States is one of the countries that have not ratified the treaty yet," she recalled.
The Group of Eminent Persons stresses that the nuclear test explosion in question, if it is eventually made, will upset the world moratorium on explosions and deal a hard blow on the treaty. "The United States must have decided this is the right moment for this," Zakharova remarked. She called on Washington to heed the opinion of people who are experts on the issue.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization was created under a resolution the CTBT signatories adopted in New York in 1996. The commission’s main task is to carry out the necessary activities to promote the CTBT coming into force and creating a verification mechanism.
The CTBT outlaws the explosions of nuclear warheads and nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. The ban applies to testing in all media (atmospheric, outer space, underwater and underground tests) and is absolute and comprehensive. By now the agreement has been signed by 183 countries, including Russia, but has not taken effect because the United States and some countries have not ratified it to this day.