MOSCOW, October 9. /TASS/. The State Duma Council, at the suggestion of the house’s Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, has instructed the Duma’s Committee on International Affairs to contact the Russian Foreign Ministry to look into the issue of withdrawing the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The conclusions are to be presented by October 18, the State Duma’s press-service has said.
"At the proposal of Vyacheslav Volodin, the Council of the State Duma on Monday, October 9, decided to instruct the Committee on International Affairs to contact the Foreign Ministry and other agencies concerned to present within 10 days (before the Duma Council’s meeting on Wednesday, October 18) conclusions regarding the proposal for revoking the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty," the news release said.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia might revoke the ratification of the CTBT, because the United States had not ratified the document. The relevant issue is the State Duma’s competence, he emphasized. As Volodin noted, a decision to declare the ratification void was consonant with Russia's national interests and "will be a proportionate response to the United States, which has not ratified the treaty to this day."
Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs and leader of the LDPR, said that Russia could notify UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the revocation of the CTBT's instrument of ratification as soon as the relevant legislative procedures were over. He explained he was referring to the adoption of a special federal law on the annulment of the 2000 decision on CTBT ratification.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was approved by the UN General Assembly on September 24, 1996. It prohibits test explosions of nuclear charges, as well as nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. The ban applies to tests in all media (in the atmosphere, outer space, underwater and underground) and is absolute and comprehensive. The treaty has not entered into force because it has not been ratified by the United States, Egypt, Israel, Iran and China. India, the DPRK and Pakistan did not sign it.