Moscow will remain a signatory to the treaty prohibiting nuclear tests and says it will continue to supply data to monitoring systems
Russia's lower house of parliament has taken the first step towards approving a bill that will revoke the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
412 deputies voted with no abstentions after 440 members of the Duma signalled their support for the deratification bill last week. North Korea is the only country in the last century to have conducted a nuclear test involving an explosion.
The move follows a statement from President Vladimir Putin, who warned earlier this month that Moscow could revoke its 2000 decision to ratify the bill to “mirror" the stand taken by the US, which has signed but not ratified the nuclear test ban.
The CTBT, adopted in 1996, bans all nuclear explosions anywhere in the world, although it has never fully entered into force.
There are widespread concerns that Russia could move to resume nuclear tests to try to discourage the West from continuing to offer military support to Ukraine. Many Russian hawks have spoken in favour of resumption.
Putin has noted that while some experts have talked about the need to conduct nuclear tests, he hasn’t yet formed an opinion on the issue.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said last week that Moscow will only resume nuclear tests if Washington does it first.