WASHINGTON, May 29. /TASS/. The US government has never publicly provided any evidence of Russia's alleged violation of the Comprehesnive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the US Arms Control Association said on Wednesday commenting on director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley's remarks.
Ashley said that "the United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the 'zero-yield' standard" outlined in the CTBT.
"Critics of the CTBT and arms control more broadly, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, have long claimed that the treaty does not adequately define a nuclear test, that Russia and China have a different interpretation than the United States of what the treaty prohibits, and that Moscow and Beijing have conducted nuclear tests in violation of the treaty. But no public evidence has ever been provided to support the claim of illegal Russian testing and Gen. Ashley didn’t provide any Wednesday," the association said in a statement.
"Former Undersecretary of States for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller told the House Armed Services Committee in December 2015 that 'within this century, the only state that has tested nuclear weapons ... in a way that produced a nuclear yield is North Korea'. This begs the question of what, if anything, has changed since then that would support a different conclusion," the association added.
"Gen. Ashley also claimed that Russia has 'not affirmed the language of zero-yield'. But Russia has repeatedly affirmed publicly that they believe the treaty prohibits all nuclear test explosions. For example, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov noted in a 2017 op-ed that the treaty prohibits ‘any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion,’ anywhere on Earth, whatever the yield," the association noted.