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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia rejects US claim of violating nuclear test ban treaty

Iran Press TV

Thu May 30, 2019 09:43AM

Russia has categorically dismissed a claim by the United States that Moscow may be conducting nuclear tests in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, the head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, claimed on Wednesday that Russia was "probably not adhering to" the CTBT by conducting low-level nuclear testing at a site in the Arctic.

"We categorically reject these allegations," Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said, adding that the allegation resembled a "well-planned, concerted attack not only on Russia but on the arms control regime and the whole strategic stability architecture."

The Russian diplomat also expressed surprise that the allegation had not been brought up during bilateral consultations but had been leveled through the media.

The CTBT, which bans nuclear weapons testing anywhere in the world, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. The multilateral treaty sets out nuclear disarmament as a principle.

Russia ratified the treaty in 2008 but the US has yet to do so.

The US allegations were made amid growing tensions between Washington and Moscow.

US President Donald Trump suspended a bilateral pact with Russia – the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) – in February and threatened full withdrawal in six months. His Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, signed a decree in response, suspending Moscow's participation in the nuclear arms treaty.

Under the treaty, both sides had been banned from creating ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers. The pact also led to the elimination of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles.

Following the US move to suspend its obligations under the treaty, Russia warned that the collapse of the agreement would spark an arms race.

Putin, however, said Moscow would not deploy any new missiles unless Washington did so.

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