Russian President Putin oversees Russian nuclear test drills from Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin conducts training with the forces and means of the ground, sea and air components of the nuclear deterrent forces in Moscow, Oct 25, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin conducts training with the forces and means of the ground, sea and air components of the nuclear deterrent forces in Moscow, Oct 25, 2023 Copyright Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik
By Euronews with AP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

The upper house of the Russian parliament has voted to rescind Russia's signing of a 1996 international nuclear test ban treaty. The treaty was never ratified by the US, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran or Egypt.


Russia's military conducted a simulated nuclear strike in a drill Wednesday overseen by President Vladimir Putin, hours after the upper house of parliament voted to rescind the country's ratification of a global nuclear test ban.

The bill to end ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, approved in the lower house last week, will now be sent to Putin for final approval. Putin has said that revoking Russia's 2000 ratification would "mirror" the stance of the US, which signed but did not ratify the nuclear test ban.

State television showed Putin directing the exercise via video call with top military officials.

Russia's Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said the purpose of the drills is to practise "dealing a massive nuclear strike with strategic offensive forces in response to a nuclear strike by the enemy."

Increased US-Russia tension

While similar drills are held every autumn, Shoigu's pointed comments came amid soaring tensions between Russia and the West over the fighting in Ukraine.

The test ban treaty, adopted in 1996, bans all nuclear explosions anywhere in the world, but the treaty was never fully implemented. In addition to the US, it is yet to be ratified by China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran and Egypt.

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 a resumption of the tests.

Putin has noted that while some experts have argued that it's necessary to conduct nuclear tests, he hasn't yet formed an opinion on the issue.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier this month that Moscow will continue to respect the ban and will only resume nuclear tests if Washington does it first.

Ryabkov said Wednesday that the Russian Foreign Ministry had received US proposals to resume a dialogue on strategic stability and arms control issues, but noted that Moscow doesn't consider it possible in the current political environment.

"We aren't ready for it because the return to a dialogue on strategic stability ... as it was conducted in the past is impossible until the US revises its deeply hostile policy course in relation to Russia," Ryabkov told reporters in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Ukraine war: Russia ditches nuclear treaty, Moscow piling forces into Donetsk region, Putin in China

What can North Korea do for Russia - and can Moscow return the favour?

Moscow's mission to the dark side of the Moon