Moscow expects clarity from Washington on nuclear test ban treaty

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PRINCETON /New Jersey/, November 30. /TASS/. Moscow expects a clear US position on ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday, addressing the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

“The situation with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is troubling. I wish to remind that Russia, Great Britain and France that possess nuclear arsenals have already ratified the Treaty,” he stated. “We expect a clear and simple US position on the CTBT, a treaty, the fate of which will directly influence future steps on nuclear disarmament.”

The diplomat noted that “Russia-US relations cannot stay on the decline forever.”

“The world needs strengthening of strategic stability, which, for its part, depends on the quality of dialogue between Moscow and Washington,” he stressed.

“We need to step back from confrontation, look for compromises and ways to reconcile. The goal is to develop equal, mutually beneficial relations that would meet the interests of both Russians and Americans. We are ready for such work,” the Russian ambassador emphasized.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was approved by the UN General Assembly in September 1996. However, 44 states possessing nuclear weapons or the potential of their creation (their list was compiled using data of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA) must ratify the document for it to take effect. From this list, 36 states, including Russia, the UK and France, have ratified it. Five more countries, namely the United States, China, Egypt, Israel and Iran, signed but have not yet ratified the document while India, North Korea and Pakistan have not inked it.

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