Russia has initiated the process of withdrawal of its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Russia’s initial move to withdraw its ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty involved a unanimous vote in the Russian Duma, the lower house of parliament. In the first of three readings, the Duma voted 412-0 without any instances of refusal to cast a vote.
The CTBT is a multilateral treaty that restricts the ratified nation of the treaty from testing any kind of nuclear weapons, for both civilian and military purposes. A total of 187 states have signed the treaty and 178 of those states have ratified. 9 states have signed but are yet to ratify, the United States is one of them. The treaty comes into implementation only after it is ratified by eight countries with Nuclear Technology.
The withdrawal of Russia’s ratification from the CTBT is particularly troubling due to its significant military and nuclear capabilities. This move raises concerns about the potential for a renewed nuclear arms race among major powers, namely Russia, China, and the USA.
In the legislative process of the State Duma of Russia, the first reading is the stage where the bill is subjected to debate and a vote, and it advances to the second reading if it garners majority support. During the second reading, each clause of the bill is meticulously examined, debated, and subject to potential amendments. In the case of Russia’s withdrawal from the CTBT ratification, the first reading has already secured approval, and the bill will now move on to the second reading for a comprehensive clause-by-clause examination, thorough debate, and potential revisions.
While specific reasons for the withdrawal have not been explicitly stated, Russia perceives the ratification as a hindrance to the development of new weapons, particularly in the context of escalating tensions with Ukraine and Western countries. This perception elucidates why Russia is proceeding with the withdrawal of ratification, even in the face of Western condemnation regarding the potential for nuclear proliferation.