The head of the American Arms Control Association, Daryl Kimball, prepared a report on the situation surrounding the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The document, which was reviewed by RT, says that the US accusations against Russia that it allegedly violated the CTBT do not have substantial evidence.
“Any violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by Russia, which has signed and ratified it, or other signatory states, will become a serious problem. However, to date, the Trump administration has not provided conclusive evidence to support these allegations, ”Kimball says.
Recall earlier in the State Department said that Russia allegedly does not comply with the moratorium on nuclear tests. According to the agency, some US intelligence data indicate that the Russian Federation tested nuclear weapons and did not adhere to the zero-power standard.
In addition, in May, Colonel-General Robert Ashley, Jr., the head of the US Department of Defense Intelligence Directorate (RUMO), said that Moscow supposedly “violates” the CTBT. According to him, this assumption is based on an American understanding of the development of atomic weapons.
A report by Daryl Kimball notes that back in December 2015, the United States government believed that North Korea was the only state that has tested nuclear weapons in recent years. In this regard, Kimball wonders what has changed since then and forced Washington to draw other conclusions.
According to the head of the Arms Control Association, US Presidential Administration Donald Trump specifically makes such allegations in order to undermine the CTBT itself and “weaken the taboo on nuclear testing.”
“The allegations may push some officials from the Donald Trump administration to advocate expelling the United States from the 184 signatory states. In 2002, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, who then held a high position in the State Department, recommended taking such a step, ”Kimball writes.
The Russian side categorically rejects such allegations. Permanent Representative of Russia to international organizations, Mikhail Ulyanov, called them fake and indicated that Moscow would like clarification from the United States, which is connected with "such a rapid evolution of assessments - from assumption to peremptory approval."
“We also expect that the American side will bring concrete facts confirming its statements. In the absence of such, our overseas partners should apologize to Russia and disavow unfounded allegations, ”the Permanent Representative concluded.
Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov recalled that the United States, unlike Russia, has not yet ratified the CTBT.
As the head of the Arms Control Association emphasized in his report, today for the first time since 1945, not a single state possessing nuclear weapons has an active nuclear test program. At the same time, the international contract monitoring system is fully operational and has greater capabilities than anticipated.
The CTBT plays a key role in curbing the nuclear arms race, explained Vladimir Batyuk, head of the Center for Military-Political Studies of the ISK RAS, explained to RT.
“The treaty is very important because without nuclear tests, participating countries will not be able to develop new types of nuclear warheads. This factor limits the nuclear arms race, ”he said.
- Nuclear Weapon Test at Enivetok Atoll, 1952
- © NNSA
"Only American interests"
Nevertheless, the full entry into force of the CTBT is hindered by eight states that have not yet ratified it, the Kimball report says. This is primarily the United States, China and the DPRK.
“The path to further nuclear testing is still open. Although the agreement was signed by 184 states, eight countries, primarily the United States, China and North Korea, which refused to ratify the treaty, have blocked its entry into force, ”the document says.
In addition, as the author points out, American intelligence agencies erroneously state the existence of various national interpretations of exactly which tests the agreement prohibits. The United States, Russia, China and other parties to the agreement have publicly confirmed that the ban applies to all nuclear explosions, regardless of power, Kimball said.
The most effective way to uphold the moratorium is the full entry into force of the CTBT, the report notes.
“Of course, the CTBT's entry into force is the most effective way of ensuring compliance, which would allow for on-site inspections with a short notice period to identify and prevent any possible violation,” Kimball explains.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Batyuk believes that the United States is committed to scrapping the nuclear arms control system.
“Trump’s inner circle includes neo-conservatives who advocate an imperialist foreign policy that should not be bound by any international legal acts. Only American interests - and nothing more. That’s how they perceive the world, ”the political scientist said.
According to him, Washington often uses pretenses that are far-fetched to get out of the agreements, for example, accuses Russia of default. This happened, for example, with the Treaty on the Elimination of Short and Medium-Range Missiles (INF Treaty).
Note that the INF Treaty expired on August 2 at the initiative of the United States. And on August 18, the States conducted tests of a cruise missile with a range of over 500 km, which had previously been banned by this agreement.
Konstantin Blokhin, an expert at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted that, blaming Russia, the United States is preparing informational ground to begin nuclear testing on its own.
“The US deliberately strikes at strategic stability. The ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty, now the CTBT, and tomorrow, possibly, the IOS-III ... Everything is being pulled under one general line, so we need to prepare for the worst, ”Blokhin suggested in an interview with RT.
- U.S. conducted banned INF Treaty cruise missile test
As Kimball points out in his report, CTBT signatories must reaffirm their commitment to the agreement and consider options for resolving disputes regarding compliance. For example, under a treaty, country representatives could visit each other’s test sites to build trust.
In addition, the consequences of withdrawing from the agreement should be indicated, it is emphasized in the document. In order to deter the Trump administration from a possible decision to officially abandon the CTBT, it is important to make clear that such a step would lead to international condemnation and tangible costs. In particular, according to the author, participants should reiterate that only signatory countries have access to monitoring data and can vote at joint meetings.
“Unfortunately, few people listen to the voice of the Arms Control Association in Washington. But it was she who warned that leaving the INF Treaty would have unpredictable results. The USA is the main force that can strike at international security, ”said Konstantin Blokhin, commenting on the proposed measures.
According to him, the actions of the United States return the world to the state of the Cold War and could provoke a new round of the arms race.