MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. The absence of progress in ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) creates obstacles for further nuclear disarmament accords, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the 12th conference on facilitating the CTBT’s entry into force on Friday.
As the senior Russian diplomat pointed out, eight countries whose ratification is mandatory for the treaty to enter into force have still failed to take practical steps toward signing or ratifying it.
"The absence of progress in this regard creates serious obstacles in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. It is difficult to work out new accords at a time when already existing treaties cannot operate in a full-fledged manner even a quarter of a century after they were concluded," the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted Ryabkov as saying on its website.
In the sphere of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, there must be no room for politically engaged acts or for attempts to gain strategic advantages through a refusal to participate in key international treaties, the high-ranking Russian diplomat emphasized.
"The situation when international security becomes hostage to the ambitions of particular countries is inadmissible," Ryabkov said.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was and remains a key instrument for verifying nuclear non-proliferation, the Russian deputy foreign minister said. In his opinion, there are no doubts that the treaty can operate in full only after it enters into force, which will be a major contribution to moving towards a nuclear-free world.
Russia welcomes the CTBT’s signing and ratification by Cuba and the Union of the Comoros, the senior Russian diplomat pointed out.
"Every new ratification is exceptionally important for the CTBT: it brings the treaty closer to the status of a universal document," the Russian deputy foreign minister added.
Russia will actively participate in putting into practice the list of measures stipulated in the final declaration for facilitating the treaty’s entry into force, Ryabkov stressed.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was approved by the UN General Assembly on September 24, 1996. It outlaws test explosions of nuclear warheads and also nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. The ban applies to explosions in all media (atmospheric, underwater and underground and in outer space) and is absolute and comprehensive.
By now, the CTBT has been ratified by 170 countries but has not come into force yet. It has not been ratified by the United States, China, Egypt, Israel and Iran and has not been signed by India, Pakistan and North Korea.